So we bid goodbye to the 3 Kings.
The feast of the epiphany (Jan 6) should be celebrated in a better way, maybe simple gift giving.
Of course the Bible never says thee were three but the evangelists were not interested in history in many cases. Matthew simply is telling us about the significance of this baby! After all he is writing history backwards.He knows the end of it! The baby grows up into this guy Jesus in whom we will find some kind of ultimacy, God breaking through in a human life.
So let’s give him a significant birth.This was a common thing with the ancients.They felt at home with myth. We don’t.We have become sad literalists, fundamentalists and thus miss the many splendored thing.
Here with the use of midrash, (Like Isaiah 60 where you will find the star from the east, kings, traditional gifts like gold and frankincense) Matthew constructs this absolutely lovely “story” about Jesus significance…and even pagans, mere astrologers from Persia can learn from him about how to live a life.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
4 “Lift up your eyes and look about you:
All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters are carried on the hip.
5 Then you will look and be radiant,
your heart will throb and swell with joy;
the wealth on the seas will be brought to you,
to you the riches of the nations will come.
6 Herds of camels will cover your land,
young camels of Midian and Ephah.
And all from Sheba will come,
bearing gold and incense…
Star of Wonder,Star of Bright!
Maybe it’s Jesus!