The story of the Magi is one that continues to be much loved. At a recent children's service I asked the children to name, in order, the people and creatures around the manger. 'The wise men!' someone shouted out excitedly each time. They really seemed to be among the favourite characters in the story. But there is much for us to ponder over in the story of these men and much for us to learn. Here are three simple thoughts that occur to me concerning them.
The lessons for us from these three simple points are obvious enough. Ignorance and hardheartedness, of course, remain problems when it comes to the faith today. Many let their worldly cares get between them and their spiritual duties. And others back away at even the hint of some kind of temporal danger ... even if it is the disapproval of those whose good opinion they should more rightly disdain.
The children who loved the story so much will not, of course, have thought about the lessons that the magi still teach us. But perhaps they understand what their story offers us intuitively? They were men of courage who left everything and faced great danger in order to follow a star. In an age that is blind to so much that truly matters their clear-sightedness is an example for us all to follow, whether we are child or adult.