Wise ones to Jesus Let’s Pray Rev. Stuart C. Buisch
You shine like stars in the world. What can we possibly understand about a group of star gazers traveling over dangerous terrain to get to a new child? In some forms of Buddhism there is a new Lama that is selected as the re-incarnation of a previous Lama. Were these travelers expecting to meet that kind of child? They told folk in Jerusalem that they had seen his star and have come to honor, to worship, to pay homage. What kind of people put their lives at risk for the chance to meet a new era, a new dynasty? The stars had often been a guide for those on land or sea to get from a to b. It is surely tempting to think about these things. But to what end? The reasons people travel are as different as the people involved. The reasons that others stay home are equally bizarre and without the merit of thinking about for any personal growth.
The real issue this story raises is how willing are we to seek Christ or to follow Christ? Foreigners risking life and limb and burning through a fair amount of means on the journey are willing to do this. Others barely cross the street to find out what’s happening. So Jerusalem was no doubt in a stir when these travelers arrive with their entourage, camels and supplies. But does it affect our interest in this babe whose life would change the inner lives of millions?
Out of town guests looking for a baby, that frankly the ones who knew where to find him had no interest in looking for, should be troubling. There was nothing magnetic about this group that drew anyone else to follow to find the baby. Those who for years had predicted that a messiah would come seem to suggest by their behavior that they don’t want to meet him or find him. Maybe they thought the whole exercise was ludicrous, a royal waste of time. It could change their lives.
Herod is upset but only just. He knows how to get the answer but the answer doesn’t affect his bridge game. It doesn’t bump his first century distractions out of his calendar. Naively he thinks that a quiet word with these keen ones will produce the goods. No sense traipsing around looking for a new king with his important schedule. ‘You go and search carefully for the child. When you find him report back to me and then I will go too.’ That sounds pitifully like 2021. I am much too important to go looking for a savior. Let the savior find me- that’s a dangerous prayer.
Recently I have had some odd conversations about prayer. Someone was trying to figure out the assets and disbursement as they looked toward retiring. A friend asked me to pray. I replied I actually don’t know how to pray for them. I was thinking pray for a good sale, pray that they will get away from the stress and enjoy the ‘golden years’ of their lives, pray that they will be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.. I just didn’t know. My friend concurred and then said I just pray that God’s will, will be done. Just how do you know that is answered? You get lots of money, you lose your shirt, you contract covid, you lose all your power and authority – which one is God’s will? And if your luke warm faith is turned upside down and you become hot and bothered enough to yell at God, was your prayer answered? God will be with you in that anger, do you really want that?
These wise ones traveled to see what God was doing. They burned through lots of risks and assets and were generous to this baby and we never hear of them again. I daresay that there are those who think these three – that’s what we usually say because there are three gifts- are just a lovely story. Do we prefer the lovely story because that lets us off the hook? We don’t have to look around to see what God is calling us to. If the three gifts simply foretell what Christ will be we don’t need to think about our investment in Christ’s work. We don’t have to think about whether our lives give glory to the creator of the universe and to God’s child who lived, died and rose for all humanity.
How much has 2021 become the generation of Herod’s who have the power and the prestige but no gumption to get out and find something, someone outside of themselves to give glory to.
To the best of my knowledge there is no cemetery for the wise ones. No place of honor or memorial where people can go and remember those who branch out to worship, to adore, to give.
Will our generation be lost to memory a decade or century after our deaths? What will we be remembered for? What things will outlast our frail bodies? Story or reality these characters stirred up Jerusalem and ultimately were the result of an infanticide of outlandish proportions.
It is incredibly safe in a comfy chair. It can also be reasonably priced. But following or indeed seeking to see Jesus costs our lives, our wills and requires us to give not simply the easy stuff – money, but also our time, our lives and our security.
In the name of God, almighty, Christ our brother redeemer and the Spirit advocate, amen
Holy One of the Universe, burst open our eyes and our hearts to your will…
Suffering Jesus, savior of the world, disclose the dimensions of that place…
Wind/Breath of God, blow out the cobwebs of complacency and fire us with your love…
Joys and concerns:
Those with chronic pain or illnesses, Stella’s family as they mourn her death
Those fighting covid or exposed to it,
Dick Pirk, Lin’s brother who has covid and is in rehab.
Gloria Cruse has some health issues
If you have JOYS AND CONCERNS text, email or call Stuand leave a message.