How to be a Magi
(Posted January 5, 2023)
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.
Who Were the Magi?
I know there have been times that my best laid plans have been upended, when I didn’t know where to turn. It would have been wonderful to have my own personal “star guidance system” pointing the way for me.
The Magi that we call the Three Kings had the Star of Bethlehem and they also had studied the heavens for most of their lives. Tradition tells us they were not only regal, but they were both astronomers and astrologers. Both “sciences” were a part of religious practice at the time.
Perhaps because the Magi had one foot in science and the other in the spiritual, they were able, when it mattered the most, to engage other aspects of their wisdom: Listening to dreams and their own intuition about people.
The Magis’ Insight
When Herod demanded of the Magi details of where he could find the newborn king of the Jews, something did not ring true to them. They could tell a conniving liar when they saw one.
The last part of their journey brought the Magi to an infant Jesus – the first such visit by gentiles who comprehended how special this little one was. And then in their wisdom they decided to “go home by another way.”
Take the Magis’ Path
It seems for all of us who embrace and love the gift of Jesus in our lives that our journey has just begun this far side of Bethlehem.
The real work for us begins when we must chart our course forward, relying only on the light that Christ shed on the “road signs” along the way, which Howard Thurman so beautifully displayed in his poem (above).
The real work begins when the theatrical part of Christmas is over, and we are left to the winds and snows of January. That’s when the real light of Christ shines.
Join us on Sunday as we close out the Christmas season at First Church, when we chart a roadmap together.