After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, that’s when the wise men show up. “After” is the critical word; this is what Matthew 2:1 tells us. The craziest story of Christmas happens after Christmas. The strangest encounter of the magi kind occurs at the Epiphany.
We’re so conditioned to look for the weird at the Christmas dining room table when the relatives show up, or at a Christmas party. We forget about the Epiphany. Matthew throws us a curveball. The challenge of Christmas isn’t who arrives at the expected services. The real eccentrics show up after the decorations are down, decked out in funky clothes, and bearing gifts with no return receipt. They might smell bad because they’ve been following a star, drinking Red Bull, and driving all night long. What are we going to do when the “magi” show up to church on Sunday morning?
We will make them feel welcome. It doesn’t matter when the “magi” arrive, who they are, they will see Jesus and be part of our worshiping communities. We love eccentrics because we are eccentrics. We are stargazing queens and kings in our castles. Look around. Each of us has traveled a considerable distance from the north, south, east, and west to come to this season of light. We bring the gold in our teeth, cologne, and perfume on our bodies and the understanding of Christ’s perseverance over death’s permanence. We are our gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Whoever darkens our door will be welcome. Remember, their life is their gift.
Come and tell us your crazy stories. What star are you following? We want to know about your journey. Whatever gift you bring, now is the time to come to where this part of your travel ends.
Richard Lowell Bryant