Thursday, January 6, 2011

On the Feast of the Epiphany

Today is the feast of the Epiphany, the day when we particularly remember the arrival of the Magi from the East to visit the Christ child.

If anyone deserves to be called seekers, it's the Magi. They seek him here, they seek him there. Those Magi seek him everywhere.

The thing that struck me, thinking about the story this morning, is that, these guys show up at the palace saying, "Where's the king?" And the priests and scribes tell them, and the magi say thank you very much and head on out. And the priests and scribes don't seem the least bit interested in following up on this. Probably too busy with priestly and scribely duties. Herod at least pays attention.

The hope I find from this is that leaders of institutional religion can help people find God despite ourselves. The agony is that those looking have to work so hard to get our help, and that we limit our help to "here's what the Bible says." And the worst of it is our own lack of curiosity about anyone's wisdom but our own.  Who says we need to stop being seekers?

"The Magi before Herod" altar frontal of 'The Virgin with Roses' c. 1350

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