15th November 2023

Who are the strangest characters involved in Jesus’ birth? The Wise Men. They came from the East, probably from Persia (Iran). They followed the Zoroastrian religion studying the stars, so their prompting to search for an infant king came from seeing a new bright star in the sky. Searching for this new king they travelled hundreds of miles with only the star for guidance and eventually arrived in Bethlehem to find the house where Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus were now living. They presented their gifts and worshipped their new king and returned home – how changed by their experience?

How do the Wise Men speak to us? They are the most like us of all the people involved in Jesus’ birth. They were foreigners coming from a long way away. They searched for Jesus coming from afar and making a great effort. Some of us have felt we were a long way from Jesus and have had to search for him. Their search started because they wanted to know and that’s often what starts us off. When they found Jesus they worshipped him with awe and wonder and so do we. Their gifts symbolised how they thought of Jesus: with gold as a king to be obeyed, with frankincense as a priest to be revered as the way to God and with myrrh as sacrifice in a way they could not really comprehend but which for us has deep meaning in the redemption we thank God for every day.

The fourth Wise Man took so long on the journey helping others that he only arrived in time to witness the crucifixion . . .

Lesley Fuller