Sunday, January 8, 2012
Today, in most Christian churches, is the Feast of the Epiphany, a day to remember the Magi, or wise ones, who followed a star in their attempt to find God. I just finished reading James Rollins' book, Map of Bones, an action thriller based on the idea that the Magi were ancient alchemists who learned secret wisdom and hid it for modern civilizations to find. It was a romp of a story, with lots of twists and turns, gunfire and explosions, hi-tech spyware and high-speed travel. I think I'll look for more of Rollins' writing.
The thing that caught my attention once again in thinking about the Magi was that they're rather vague characters. We have no idea how many there were, where they came from, their age, sex, or race. Yes, the Bible (Matthew 2) says "wise men," but remember, the Bible scribes used the word "men" for everyone all the time, whether male or female (that's one of those things that drives me crazy about the Bible -- its non-inclusive language -- as a woman, I hate being generically lumped in with "all men", but that's another moodling for another day).
So there may have been a dozen magi (though we think there are three because three gifts are mentioned: gold, frankincense (not frankenstein, as the poor reader at church misread yesterday, giving us a case of "church giggles," where you soundlessly shake while laughing so hard you cry) and myrrh. They may have been from many different places. They could have been male or female. The Magi represent all those who seek wisdom, and I don't know about you, but I'd like to be wiser. And I'd like to share, once again, my story of modern-day Monica and the wisdom she finds when she meets the Magi... which you can access by clicking here. Maybe next year I'll remember to share this before Christmas!