3wise men

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(wise men of the bible, they follow a star and discover the Christ)

What about those wise men, what can they tell us? What lessons can be learned from them? Who are they? Start with the basics. First, they travelled from another land. Second they followed a star. Third they were on a quest. Fourth they carried gifts. The wise men are called magi and many believed they travelled through Zoroastrian Persia. They are often believed to be from three different kingdoms throughout the middle-east. The gospel passages gives them neither name nor number and much of that information has been gleaned from other texts. It is important that they did travel from other countries, and other cultures. Those wise men did cross geographic, cultural, and religious borders. Various regions around the globe give them different names. Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar in the West. Hor, Karsudan, and Basanater in the East and Ethiopia. Kagbha, Badadakharida, and Badadilma in Armenia. Larvandad, Gushnasaph, and Hormisdas in Syria. They travel from many distant places.

They are also often referred to as Wise Men. To some Zoroastrian astrologers, but another translation considers them to be simply wise and old men. They are scholars, philosophers, and people who have witnessed many things. They travel with purpose and they seek answers. Their arrival on a manger is not accidental or coincidental. It is deliberate. It is revealed to them, by a star. Stars of course are heavenly bodies, and we all know what inhabits the heavens. In that day stars were the home of the gods. Those wise men did not follow a map, they were guided by the wisdom and revelation of the star. They both had an epiphany and sought the same. They both sought and recognized the Christ as LORD and savior. They sought and were guided by GOD’S wisdom. They sought and discovered that in a manger. The Christ Child.

They did not passively wander, but they charted a course. They were wise men who sought the LORD. In discovering that Child in a manger, they passed over many other earthly kings. They disregarded they royalty of their and other lands just as they disregarded Herod. They passed by palaces, and emperors, and kings, queens and their descendants. They rode past prophets and sages and courts. They rode past everything their world held valuable so that they might honor a child in a feeding trough. To look at where those wise men arrived, one should also look at what at what they passed along the way.

They were wise and old, they had experienced many things, yet a child brought them to their knees. That Child could not be found within their own borders, or by the formulas from the cultures of the day. They were wise men, they sought and were guided by wisdom. They did not bind the LORDS wisdom by human constraints. They were guided and obedient to a star. Those wise men carried gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold of an earthly kingdom and frankincense of a heavenly one. Myrrh is the scent of suffering and death. Those gifts also can be looked at as either prophetic or symbolic. Prophesy tells of what is to come, or could they be symbols of what they sought?

They came to give a king homage, but that king was their revelation and not the worlds. The vision of a star. They were wise old men guided by the wisdom of the LORD. When they arrived at that destination, they knew they found what they sought. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. Guided by the wisdom of a star across all barriers of age, culture, country, and religion. Oddly those barriers those wise men crossed seem insurmountable today. Look at the barriers of the world today. East versus West. Christian versus Muslim versus Jew. The barriers of skin and class and country. Wise men guided by a star, not aimlessly wandering throughout the land. I wonder what their journey would be like across that or any land today?

The Epiphany of the Lord
Lectionary: 20

Is 60:1-6

Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13

Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6

Mt 2:1-12

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