Epiphany

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Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” Matthew 2:1-2

That honesty doesn’t sound very wise to me.  You have these men, from a far-away country.  They traveled through barren and sometimes hostile lands…past robbers, through inclement weather, through areas they did not know.  Is that wise?  They met up with the King of Israel and essentially disobeyed him by not reporting what they had found when they saw Jesus.  Is that wise?  They brought valuable gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh to present to…a baby!  How “wise” does any of this sound?

Today is Epiphany, the day that we celebrate the visit of the Wise Men.  Actually, that is probably the best translation of the word “Magi.”  Some have suggested that these Magi were experts in any number of things.  They were said to have known medicine, astronomy, geography.  So, by some standards of this world, they would qualify as wise.  But to risk life, expend capital, disobey a foreign king, and all the other things that went into this trip, I’m not so sure “wise” would be the way most would classify them.  In fact, weren’t they even kind of foolish?

“Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For the foolishness of God is wiser than men…” (1 Cor. 1)  How instructive all of this is to us.  You and I get labeled as foolish for the things we do as Christians.  We are foolish for believing in a God we cannot see.  We are foolish for believing that the crucifixion of a man 2000 years ago somehow forgives our sins.  We are foolish for giving our hard-earned resources to a church.  We are foolish for trying to live our lives in unconventionally kind and sacrificial ways.  How like the Wise Men we are!

The visit of the Wise Men highlights what the calling of God does to people.  We do things, think things, believe things that the world does not understand or respect.  And yet, because we have been summoned by God, this is who we are…just like the Wise Men.

Prayer: O Lord God, thank you that you have made us as foolish as the wise men.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

One Response to “Epiphany”

  1. Dorothy Schoewe says:

    Thank you for your message. God Bless your day!

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