Dave Brisbin 12.13.20
How in the world could anyone have seen in a helpless infant, born to dirt-poor parents living in the back of beyond, all that Jesus was and would become? When you think about those who first recognized Jesus—Mary, Joseph, shepherds—the commonality is obvious. They are all as poor and invisible to the rest of the world as the infant in the manger. They have learned to be wholly reliant on God because in their lives, there has been no other constant. But there was one more group who recognized Jesus that at first glance couldn’t have been more different than these. Powerful, educated, wealthy, the Magi were all that these poor Galilean and Judean peasants were not, and yet there they are shoulder to shoulder with the rest in front of the child.

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Jesus said it would be harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. By Kingdom, Jesus meant the quality and consciousness of a life lived wholly reliant on God, aware of God’s presence and gifting in every moment. When life conspires to harshly force you to the reality of God as the only constant in life, it is amazing enough to retain your humility and gratitude without descending into resentment and bitterness. But what does it take for a rich person to let go of their illusions of control and security, to find that deep down they are just as dependent and wholly reliant on God as well? It is the genius of the Magi that they had taken just such an internal journey to their poverty of spirit before they could ever take the external journey to Jesus. And though we may look poor in comparison to the power and prestige of the Magi, we are rich beyond comprehension to everyone else who gathered around the infant Jesus that first Christmas. We need the genius of the Magi to show us the way to the way toward recognizing our unassuming God in the most unexpected places—each moment of our lives.

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