Isaiah 60:1–6; Matthew 2:1–12

I was talking with a young woman who had left our church a few years earlier and remembered that she had celebrated her birthday recently. “Happy Birthday!” I said, but she seemed confused. I realized I had crossed that invisible line that divides friends from mere acquaintances. Only your good friends know when your birthday is coming. So how did I know the date? There was no reason. Well, no reason except one: Facebook.

Although we were no longer part of each other’s real lives, the woman and I were still connected on Facebook. In a creepy sense I had information about her. It was discomforting.

“What do you know? How do you know it?” are the questions that loom over the Magi text.

It’s wild and wonderful that the diviners from the East are the first ones to know the good news. Their craft predated Moses and had been handed down from the ancient Sumerians as early as 3500 BC (Jews and Christians regarded their arts as deceptive, even dangerous).


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