The Foolish Wise Men

I’ve always liked the Wise Men.

I think the Magi are one of the most fascinating things about the Christmas story. These Wise Men arrived from the east to worship Jesus, and then vanished as mysteriously as they appeared. Christian tradition tells us there were three Magi and even gives their names, but history offers few clues as to the number or identity of these enigmatic pilgrims. The Magi are popularly called kings and widely believed to have been scholars. Who were the Wise Men?

I don’t think it matters.

I like the Magi because I relate to them. They were men searching for truth, following a star in a quixotic search for light and meaning in a bleak, meaningless world. Their pilgrimage, beginning God-knows-where and ending at the dirty feet of a little child, resonates with me. Amid my doubts and struggles, I sometimes feel like a man stumbling in the dark, following a star and trusting I’ll find peace at the end of the journey.

Am I a fool for chasing so faint and distant a star as faith in a Savior? I may be. If I am a fool, then so are the Wise Men, ironically enough.

The Wise Men found what they sought, and another wise man wrote at the end of his life, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” For my part, I can only echo Robert Frost: “I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” I have my own journey ahead, and I hope I shall finish it well.

Happy Christmas, everyone.

2 thoughts on “The Foolish Wise Men

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