Sunday, 10 January 2016

Wise men from the East

Matthew 2:1-18

Christmas tends to get overshadowed by New Year, but that wonderful event should affect us for a long time; indeed one day everyone will be affected by Jesus (Phil 2:11).  The wise men, coming from a land where Islam is now dominant, remind us of a lasting Christmas; its events may be as much as two years after the birth.  All are touched by the story; three groups.

Why was Herod troubled?  Loss of his power, disturbance of the status quo, knowing that he had done wrong?  Is this us as well when Jesus comes?  What did he do?  A political action; tried to compromise - is that us? But Jesus requires absolute obedience.  Then he sought to remove the problem - political expediency?  Many do this, putting Jesus out of sight and mind.  Us?  But we should them make Jesus more visible!!

Can we identify with Herod?  But also with others in the story, the privileged?  The priests, society people, ritualists, performing the actions of worship.  These were "modernists", for whom God could not intrude.  Then there were scribes, devoted to the scriptures; this is good, but again they did not want a real intrusion!  Jesus wants a real relationship with us.

The third group worshipped.  They had come by a strange route, but that does not matter - they reached Christ.   And a meeting with a real Jesus is the solution to Islam!  Let us enter into their joy, their dedication, and their worship.

Prof David T Williams
Theology (retired)