This Saturday is the feast of Epiphany, 12 days after Christmas, traditionally associated with the arrival of the wise men to visit the infant Jesus and give him their gifts of gold, incense and myrrh. For many people today, it’s a day when we might think about ‘twelfth night’ or taking down the Christmas decorations.
The wise men (the Bible doesn’t say how many there were) came some time after Jesus’ birth. I’m encouraged by two things about the wise men:
- They were NOT the first people to meet Jesus – that was the shepherds. So we know that God loves and values ordinary people like you and me, just as much as the ‘great and good’ like the wise men; and
- Ever since the first Christmas in Bethlehem, Jesus has drawn some of the wisest people and finest minds to find and know him. He welcomes any amount of inquiry and research, so long as we keep our minds open.
Our contemporary context is a far cry from first century Palestine but even today wise people still seek Jesus and put their gifts at his disposal. So as you put your Christmas decorations away for another year, I hope you’ll reflect on the wise men all those years ago, and do what they did – find out for yourself why the baby born among animals is so important.