Thursday, January 3, 2008

Meet Your King Matthew 2:1-12

Happy New Year...
in case your are wondering, this post is late because we took some time off at home as a family after Christmas. We did some work in the basement and dog and I made the most of the final days of bird huntin'. This isn't a picture from this past week but you get the point.

The story of the Magi arriving in Matthew is well known in cultures around the world. It's read widely on Epiphany.

The story has taken on a life of its own in each culture.

Matthew tells his readers that an an unknown number of Magi μάγοι came from the East following a star to visit the new born king of the Jews. The plot twists; their first stop in Judah wasn't to see Jesus. They met first with king Herod the man who had the title, king of the Jews. They came bearing gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh, χρυσὸν καὶ λίβανον καὶ σμύρναν, to offer the new king. Only after meeting and agreeing to return and tell Herod about the one they found did they head on to meet the future king. Matthew says they fell down and worshiped him, πεσόντες προσεκύνησαν αὐτῳ̂.

Herod wanted them to come back and tell him where and when they met this would be king. Herod didn't want to bow down to him or anyone. Herod wanted to eliminate this infant threat to his power. The Romans had granted him, Herod, the title King of the Jews and no one would take it from him. A angel came in a dream to the Magi and they headed back in a different direction staying away from Herod.

Artists have imagined scenes in this story for years. Matthew doesn't say the race, nationality, or creed or even the number of those who came to meet Jesus and family. He says that they were Magi from the east who followed a star and he tells us what they brought. The possibilities are wide open. Each of us can easily interpret this story and provide our answer to the question: Who would come to bow down and worship this child?

Herod feared this infant. Those who love power more than other people always fear Jesus. In the story we find ourselves and others from different cultures worshiping the same God revealed in Jesus. Danger and darkness are real. Herod was ready to unleash death; but Jesus came to bring light and life. And this is our moment as church to share the light and life that he has brought to each of us.


LawAndGospel said...

Nice post. Danger and darkness ARE real, but we need to share light- Amen! And hope you enjoyed bird-doggin' and that your boy's procedure goes well.

David said...

Another great reflection. Glad you had some time to get away and enjoy the great outdoors.