Reading: Matthew 2:1-12 - The story of the visit of the wisemen.
Irony - the outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been expected.
Has the irony embedded in this passage hit you?
1. Irony: A sign is given pertaining to an event so cosmic that from unlimited distance, people can see the sign, and interpret it accurately....while in the spaces all around the actual occurrence of the event, the sign is hardly even noticed.
2. Irony: A journey is taken, some 1500 miles, to witness what has happened in the event, while people "next door," seem completely unaware of what is actually going on...totally taken up by "life as usual."
3. Irony: Gifts of gold and other extremely valuable, kingly stuff, are given to sustain baby and parents, because they are so dependent and unhelped by their social setting or families.
Lots of irony...and in the face of this momentous event, great wisdom too.
People so wise, they get identified by that word in every reference to them.
The wise men were bright, and trained, but that alone did not make them wise.
Their real wisdom, I think, is measured by this:
1. They were watching for the sign, cued by wisdom writings, signifying where the event was happening. That put them on the cutting edge.
2. They were able to sort out the implictions of the sign and event AND determined to do something about it. They were activists.
3. They gave prophetically and generously, even if they were the only ones doing so.
They were wise indeed
...and their actions call us to a deeper wisdom than facts and logic.
May we be wise in these ways and more....this Christmas.
Lord, in Your coming you have shown us what wisdom really is. Would you help us to be truly wise, seeing deeply, understanding the significance of the times, and being abandoned actually to obedience and generosity.
Your word promises: "if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all" - James 1:5.
And in this Christmas week, that is what I ask.
In Jesus name, Amen.