Modern Magi – Good News for December 18

18 12 2009

Matthew 1:18-25

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.

The Daily Path: I’d like to share an excerpt from the closing paragraph of O. Henry’s classic short story, The Gift of the Magi…

The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

Over the past week, the three magi visited me. They came unannounced and completely unexpected. Each arrived at a different time. Each bearing gifts and acts of unbelievable kindness towards me. Two of these magi were made known to me. The third arrived mysteriously, as if in the night, keeping their identity hidden from sight. Just as the original wise men were inspired by God to visit, so too were these modern magi.

I cannot describe these gifts to you, for any attempt to do so couldn’t begin to illuminate their true value. Let me just repeat that I’ve been given the amazing gift of God’s abundance. He continues to provide what is needed when all human logic would point me towards despair. I feel like Jimmy Stewart’s character, Harry Bailey, from the Frank Capra film It’s A Wonderful Life. Like Harry, I’ve been taken down a rocky path. But through these times I’ve been given a great gift to see things now that I could never fully appreciate before. There is a God who loves me and, no matter how often I stumble, is always there to pick me up. I have a family that provides endless joy. And, I have friends, many friends, who, when I need them most… well… they are wisest… they are the magi.

Wherever you are, and in one case whoever you are… thank you.

Room to Chat: For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous deeds. Wondrous deeds, indeed! Friends, do not be afraid.