advent, or christmas in July

7 Jul

The Magi’s speak

Micah 5:2

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from old, from ancient of days”

Matthew 2:1

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herold the King, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him”

From ancient days the Magi’s families watched the skies. The wisest of their community, they had one responsibility to their society, households and selves: to watch the skies for a light.

Their life had this one purpose. It must have been both freeing to be given just one certain life-time task to do and also crushing. Suppose the light did not appear? Suppose this was not the time for the light, his star to rise? What is they went on vacation or slept and missed the light’s appearance?

No matter. As seers, prophets, wise men of their community, they just had to follow the ancient prophecy. All they had to do was to see, to follow the light. It would seek them. Ready to move and follow, they could rest in the certain belief that if it was their time, the light would find them. And it did. And they followed His generous star, His light.

Unnamed and uncounted the Magi represent all of their past forefathers and the future generations who would speak of what they saw, the generous fulfilment of light, of a new King, a new world, a new creation. All their community would hear the Magi speak of where the light took them, to a Saviour, a babe. All are invited to follow.

The Magi would rise with the star and pack gifts of extreme value to travel with, gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. Gifts to heal, to anoint, gifts to bring rich abundant life. The child King and his family will have great need for these gifts. Soon this family will be driven by Herod to exile in Egypt. Homeless, these gifts would provide shelter.

The Magi would journey first to Jerusalem. It is a great city. A crossroad of empires. Down its low stony hills, armies of ancient Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and now Rome, had marched. Jerusalem and the surrounding towns are sacred ground: Abraham travelled here; Moses brought an enslaved people to this land; Joshua fought and claimed it and David ruled over it. David’s hometown was Bethlehem. And this is where the Magi’s and Jesus’ star leads-to the smallest town, to a family, to a baby, to a child.

A small group of men follow a lone bright star to the smallest of towns. They see the light: they speak of it among themselves and when they return to their sending community. People want to, need to, desire to hear about the light. God is sending the light, His light, His son into the world so all will know: all past and future people, all are loved by His life, His light.

This is the rich and generous message the Magi returned to their homes with: we are loved in His and by His light. This is what they speak of.

This is the generous message of Advent celebration. We ar

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