Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Monday, January 29, 2007

Epiphany - better late than never

OK, I know this is supposed to be celebrated earlier in January, but I'm just now starting a reading of Matthew in my devotions. I'm somewhat amazed by several points in the story of the magi, but for now I'll just ask you to ponder this: How is it that these guys from 'the east' have the foresight to seek out Messiah? Where did they acquire Scriptures? Could they really get the promise of a Messiah from this passage? What role did their astronomy/astrology play in the revelation that eventually led them to Christ? What stirred their minds and hearts, so that when they saw the child the 'bowed to the ground and worshipped Him"?

I suppose we can't know all the answers to these questions, but I do think the very presence of the story should create in us a sense of humility. The ones who 'get it', all through the gospels, are usually not the educated textual experts. Instead they come from commerce, or the red light district, or in this case, some culture whose practices evangelicals would no doubt disdain, labeling it as, at best 'syncrotistic' or worse, 'a cult'. Don't misunderstand. The primacy of Jesus is at stake, and I'm not saying that all roads lead to Christ and that as long as one is sincere...blah blah blah. Rather, I'm saying that God's love for humanity is so vast that He will go to great lengths to reveal Himself and point people to Christ by many means, including the stars of the heavens, sunrises, sexual intimacy, the Bible, great literature, Verdi's Requim set against the backdrop of images from Darfur. Further, the ways Christ will be worshipped will differ wildly from culture to culture - so who are we to think that our way is the only way, or the best way? At times, with our addictions to wealth and entertainment, to indulging our sexual appetites and bodily pleasures, I wonder if we get it at all. But then I remember that when you strip away the veil of cultural trappings, we're all the same - broken people, needy and looking for a Savior. Flashes of light serve only to show the vastness of darkness in our hearts, enflaming the longing to 'follow the star' and 'worship the Source'. And the Source, if it's true and life giving, will always be Jesus.


At 29/1/07 17:42, Blogger jeb said...

questions about the star of bethlehem and the magi? check out


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