Saturday, January 5, 2008

How the wise got wiser

Our Gospel for tomorrow is Matthew 2:1-12.

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.

They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'" Then Herod secretly called for the wise man and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage."

When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own county by another road.

How did the wise men get wiser? They sought Jesus, found Jesus, and worshiped Jesus.

After the wise men saw Jesus, and knew that the star had guided them to Jesus, they paid close attention to the dream in which they were warned. They wised up to the maneuverings of Herod the king and did not report back to him.

Shortly after the wise men left, Joseph was warned in a dream to flee, and he took Mary and Jesus to Egypt, where they stayed until after Herod's death.

In peace,

The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek
Photos from Mepkin Abbey, Moncks Corner, SC January 2008
First: Three Wise Men - wood carving in Abbey church
Second: Jesus, Joseph and Mary - ceramic in outdoor alcove
Third: "Flight into Egypt" outdoor carving in Mepkin Gardens

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