January 6, 2008
And going into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11
Today is Epiphany, the day when the Christian church remembers the coming of the Wise Men to worship the baby Jesus.
In contrast to those Wise Men, let me tell you about some fellows who are not so wise. First, there is the man in Brazil who shot himself in the eye. Why? He had a bad toothache and used a gun to try and shoot out the infected tooth. He missed. Then there is the very unwise Maryland man who tried to counterfeit some $100 dollar bills. He used his home photocopier to print his duplicates on lime green paper. Need I tell you that he was quickly caught?
The world is filled with people who do unwise things.
I’m one of them. You probably are, too. Most of us, if we’re being honest, have all found ourselves in the unwise category at one time or another. Most of us, if we’re honest have had embarrassing moments when we did something that was absolutely inspired in its absurdity. And if you’re saying, “Not me!” then let me ask, “How many times have you pushed on a door which is clearly labeled “Pull”?
Are you nodding your head and saying, “Yes, I've been there; I’ve done that. I’ve done silly things, and, even worse, I’ve done sinful things.”
If that is your honest confession, then rejoice, for the Holy Spirit wants to move us into the caravan of the Wise Men. We can stand by the side of these Wise Wanderers and, in faith, worship Him who is God’s great Gift of grace. At a Bethlehem house, on a Jerusalem cross and, before a borrowed tomb, we can see the wonder of God’s love, which comes to us through the Savior’s sacrifice.
And if the Lord wills it, we can, like the Wise Men, give the Christ Child our gifts. No, I’m not referring to presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh; I’m saying a really wise man and woman will give Jesus the gift He wants the most: a saved, sin-free heart.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Father and Fount of all wisdom, there is no knowledge worth having beyond You and Your Son, Jesus Christ. Forgive our foolishness and faithlessness and unite us with the Wise Men to offer Jesus our believing, forgiven hearts. In Jesus’ name we ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries