Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Travels of the Magi

Today, not yet being Epiphany, we celebrated the second Sunday after Christmas with the story of the wise men. And one of the questions asked in a story borrowed from an Episcopal minister in Michigan was, who are today's wise men, traveling to meet Christ? What gifts do they bring, and what do those gifts say about Christ today?

We know that the wise men in Christ's time brought gold -- a symbol of Christ's kingship, frankincense -- an incense used in worship, and myrrh -- both a substance used in embalming royalty, and a powerful method of fighting infection. These were gifts of the wise men in acknowledgment of who they were visiting, as well as statements about the baby Jesus and His life as it would be, both on Earth and in Heaven.

Fortunately, God blessed us with a traveler today, after the service was done. A man named Teddy is traveling from Wyoming to Washington, by bicycle, to return home after quite some time. Now while bicycles aren't camels, it appeared that Teddy's gifts in his travels included providing us an opportunity to give him a bit of hot chocolate, fellowship, a left-handed glove turned wrong-side out to make a right-handed glove to replace one he lost, a scarf to help cover his face in his travels, and a lift up the hill out of town. He gifted us also with his knowledge of the Bible, current affairs and stories, along with the absolute faith that no matter what happens, we win in the end, because we get to meet God.

Gifts of this nature say a whole lot about the gifts and the giver. May God grant you the gift of meeting a magi this week.

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