Saturday, 9 January 2016

Wise Men? Well - not always!

So it's the season of Epiphany and after Christmas comes the visit of the Magi from the East.

For a few years the Baptist Union Retreat Group met at Burford Priory, a Benedictine House in the Cotswolds.  We usually gathered just before Epiphany and couldn't help but notice that the beautiful models of the three kings would start the week at the top of the Priory staircase yet each day, as we got closer to January 6th, they mysteriously managed to descend yet another another flight of stairs so that by the day itself they ended up outside the chapel doors.  I have a suspicion those nuaghty monks moved them every day on the stroke of midnight!!

This year to help me get a different take on the season I read The First Christmas by Borg and Crossan - it was great! One of the things I learnt was that the Magi were probably the descendants of the magicians in the story of Daniel.  In that narrative these Wise Men were the 'baddies' and stood in opposition to God.  In the story we have been celebrating this week the Magi are positive 'instruments' for and even of God; they serve his purposes and are on the 'good' side.

There is surely a glorious irony there.  That God can 'redeem' us all for the better.  A story of transformation.
A story of how even the foolish can become wise.

Happy Epiphany!


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