Monday, January 5, 2009

Wise Men are Fools

Greetings to all! As we sat in Mass yesterday celebrating the feast of the Epiphany, in other words, the wise men’s arrival. I got to thinking about these so called wise men. Could you imagine if one your friends would say to you, “Look, I been doing a little research about this religion and from what I can tell they are all waiting on a king to arrive. I have been monitoring the stars through my looking device I invented and I found this star that was not there before. I have a feeling that if I follow that star it will lead us to this new king, wanna come?” There were three wise men, right? My question is who was the first one to see this star? And my second question is how on earth did he convince these other two fellas to go with him? There are a few things that I love about the wise men and I will elaborate on these each in a little detail.

First, angels did not appear to them singing Hallelujah and telling them to come over to Bethlehem the King is born. It was not some mind blowing spiritual experience that lead them to this newly born king. It was NATURE! I think a lot of times we can box God into such a small package as to not realize how much HIS creation all points to Him. Also, we continue to concrete ourselves in as our cities grow larger and so we get to experience less and less of His creation. I remember a few years back I had finished reading this book about men’s spirituality called, “Wild at Heart” by John Eldridge, it is an amazing book that truly continues to change my life, can you tell I highly recommend it? After reading the book I found out that John Eldridge and his team put on men’s retreats in Colorado and I decided that I wanted to go. I signed up for the retreat, bought a plane ticket and booked my rental car. The weekend was awesome, hands down one of the most powerful weekends thus far in my life, but do you know what was the most soul freeing experience of those four days was? The drive to retreat center believe it or not! I remember leaving the airport and the concrete jungle of Denver and the further and further I got into the mountains the more I felt my heart being freed. As I rounded this one corner traveling through the mountains, the whole landscape just opened up into the HUGE beautiful valley completely surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains. I literally pulled my car over onto the side of the rode, got out, walked to the edge of the side rail, and jumped off, ok, no I didn’t, that just added dramatic effect to the story. No, I just stood there and experienced all of God’s majesty, power, and beauty and I let His creation lead me into His heart at that moment. These wise men knew that God could use anything to lead people to Himself and so they followed His creation right to the feet of the King!

Secondly, can you imagine how crazy they looked to everyone they knew? In a day and age where we are probably more self conscious than society has ever been, can you imagine if you or I set out to follow a star because we thought it might lead us to a king? We are afraid to bow our heads in a restaurant to bless and thank our Heavenly Father for the meal He has sat before us, can you imagine if we were to do something radical like follow a star? These guys must have looked like complete and under fools to everyone they knew. We call them “wise men” NOW, but can you imagine the conversations about those fellas back in the day, “hey, you heard about Johnny, Danny, and Billy, they went looking for a king cause they saw a star! HAAHAHAHAHAHA what fools uh? But guess what? They found one! They not only found one, they found THE ONE! I think that the wise men present a challenge to us all to step out of our comfort zones in search of the King. I think that the wise men call ever single Christian out, by not what they said, but by what they did! They put everything on the line for this King and their actions present a very loud question to all of us, what are we willing to do to find the King? In the end, they were not fools, they went down in HISTORY as Wise men! That my friends is a legacy, wise men, in search of the King, that’s what I want to be and I don’t care how foolish I look!

My final thought on these wise men is that they may or may not have been Jewish. These guys could possibly have been the first Christians sorta of. Now, this is not a theological point so please don’t go to your priest, pastor, or whoever and tell them that I am calling the wise men the first Christians, I am not trying to make some new theological point, what I am saying is that Christ called everyone to Himself! And I think that these guys recognized something special about this child, something different. I think that is the reason they did not go back to Herod to tell him where they had found the child. The priest at Mass yesterday said that from the very beginning of Christ’s life even in the manger He was drawing people to Himself to adore Him. People from all walks of life from Sheppard to wise man from Jew to Gentile and from Sinner to Saint, He desires to bring us all to Himself! What an awesome thought that our God wants us ALL!

As we begin our Christmas Year, may we allow God to use His creation to draw us to Himself, may we not care what we look like to others as we follow Him, and finally may our hearts be filled with gratitude that our God wants us ALL!

Much Love,
The Cantrells


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the simple reminder! I hope ya'll are doing well. May your year have MANY blessings :)

Lila Lambert said...

"Like the Wise Men we want to reach Jesus even though we have to leave behind the things this world values so highly..we may have to suffer some setbacks in order to follow the road that leads to HIM, but every resolve to follow Christ kindles a light that leads us, as well as those around us, closer to our Saviour". Your Cate was a light for us in a world of darkness....

Anonymous said...

All I can say is Wow!
I too hope that while I may seem foolish to others that I can follow where God leads!

Teresa Clark

Jamie said...

You know I was thinking the same thing yesterday- If my friend said lets follow the star to our king - I would have looked at them like they are crazy and I would say go right ahead and follow your little star - I will stay home. I think it is incredible the amount of faith they had in nature and in our King. God was definitly in their hearts. Thanks for the reflection!

Anonymous said...

You are right about them being the first Christians, the wise men represented the gentiles(or at least that's what the Priest said at church on Sunday) . Christ not only drew followers among the jews but came to call ALL to worship him. Thanks for your reflections, they help to remind me of what it is all about!

Anonymous said...

You never cease to amaze me with your interpretations of the Gospel. What a beautiful God given gift you have!!