Sunday, January 3rd, 2021, Epiphany, Wisdom
Isaiah 60.1–6, Psalm 72.1–7, 10–14, Ephesians 3.1–12, Matthew 2.1–12
I cannot help wonder how wise were the three wise men? It took a dream to warn them not to return to Herod. You might think one of the three would have a sense Herod’s motives would have been suspect. But maybe the dream was a way for them to express their discomfort about what Herod was really going to do if he found the Christ Child.
So there is that type of wisdom, reading and understanding people and their motives and what is behind their words. (Maybe we are losing some of this because of lack of face to face contact; we are not able to read the non-verbal cues.)
And there is also wisdom in the gifts they bring to the Christ Child.
Gold is for the Prince of Peace, who will be King, the one who in bringing peace also brings his people together, bring his kin or family together.
Frankincense is there to show the prayers rising to heaven, being therefore a person of prayer, with a relationship with God.
Myrrh is oil used to anoint a body for burial.
These are wise gifts which express who Jesus will be, his ministry as well as its culmination with Good Friday on the Cross and Easter and the Resurrection.
But it is a wise gift for all of us. It is a valuable way of understanding ourselves as bringing family in all that means together in peace. We are spiritual beings that we need to be reminded of. We are not putting on something foreign, but living a true sense of who we are.
And to live these two out particularly the first one, means sacrifice. This may not mean death itself, but putting others first and caring for others at the expense of our own wishes and how we spend our time. Jesus’ sacrifice was certainly not without benefit, the resurrection and eternal life. Our sacrifice, embracing the Gold of peace in relationship, I would hope and pray this Epiphany is also of benefit and appreciated by all of us.
So the wisdom of the Magi is in all three gifts together in each and every one of us this Epiphany and beyond.