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Saturday, January 13, 2007
the Heavens declare the Glory of God. the skies proclaim the work of his hands. . . . .
Where we left off-- what does this kind of faith sharing look like? If you haven't read the prior post it would help to better understand this one.

These days of Epiphany are signaled by the mysterious quest of a band of kings to find the "one born King of the Jews." They are universally referred to as "wise" Kings. At the end of their star-gazing journey they found the very wisdom of God. They found the child peasant King living in hidden obscurity and they presented treasure and bowed down in worship. This must have been a startling epiphany for them. . . . . what a different type of kingship. They were searching for a quite unique King-- one signaled by the very heavens above-- and they found a quite unique King. There were no marks of royalty. . . . no signs of status. There was a poor child in a no-name, nowhere'sville town. And somehow they had eyes to see what they were looking at and they presented their treasures and they worshipped him. They saw the quite hidden obvious.

The star was God's way of revealing himself to pagan astrologers. Now what's fascinating about this story is that that the ones who were trusted with God's most obvious revelation-- the Torah and the Prophets-- (a.k.a. the B.I.B.L.E.) apparently didn't bother to make the six mile trek from Jerusalem to Bethlehem after being alerted. This is another example of why it is so dangerous to be a religion scholar. Pagans walk half way across the planet following a star in search of a king prophesied about in the bible and the bible scholars won't walk to the next town over. Ironically, as the stories of Epiphany unfold, we behold this poor, young, hidden boy king instructing these selfsame scholars in the Temple. Incidentally, as the story of the Passion unfolds we watch as this obscure, Galilean peasant prophet regularly excoriates these so-called "Teachers of Israel" and finally, forcibly drives them out of the house of God.

Even as I write, I get carried away with the way this story unfolds and I forget where I am going. And isn't that the beauty of it? I'm not driving. I'm not sure what relevant point I'm trying to forcibly extract from the story. I'm forgetting about where my blog post was headed and not by trying harder to forget but by becoming captured and consumed by where this story is going. I'm following this God and epiphanies are breaking forth all around me like shooting stars. All of a sudden I've got more respect for pagans-- even astrologers-- and I find myself pondering how to invite them into the journey. Or maybe this is the real epiphany. . . . . how I might enter into their journey?

Fascinating. . . . THE Epiphany of which the Season of Epiphany speaks isn't some epiphany they (the kings) had. It's the Epiphany we get by watching them: This king is not just for the House of Israel. This king is for the whole world-- indeed, the whole cosmos. The first epiphany of the cosmic kingly identity of this child king hidden in small town poverty is revealed through the quest of pagan kings following a star.

What on earth are the implications of this?
posted by John David Walt | at 1/13/2007 10:25:00 AM



Blogger eli said...

beautiful, jd. i'm not sure it's an implication, but it's what comes to my mind. this whole deal is about following and not understanding. two reasons for this. first, when i think i understand i close my eyes to new revelation, new epiphany, that implies a different destination. second, i began to look at everyone else's journey first-and-foremost as a right/wrong proposition. they are either "going the right way," toward MY understanding of the end destination or the correct story's end, or they are headed the wrong way. but if i simply follow, wide open to possible turns or secret doors, or balloon rides, or holy spirit kidnappings, then i remain open to epiphany. "turn your eyes upon jesus, look close in his wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace." somehow i think it's just about looking at jesus - just like those wise men whose power and wealth became strangely dim. sorry for the wordiness!

11:28 AM EST  

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