The Courage and Humility of the Wisemen

It is the glorious feast of the Epiphany today. The wise men are the most fascinating enigma as they follow a mysterious star, encounter Herod, worship the Christ Child, and heed a mystical warning to avoid alerting the duplicitous Herod.

The strongest impression for me of these three men is their courage as well as their humble spirituality.

They venture into the unknown, following a star of all things, into a foreign land with enough sensitivity to listen to the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit even though they are not Jewish.

They have enough humility to prostrate themselves and actually worship an impoverished human newborn in the confines of a stable full of animals and surely the smell of manure.


It is not within their spiritual tradition to worship a human, never mind an infant, yet their minds are open enough to acknowledge that this rogue star, which has settled over a stable, signifies an event of cosmic significance.Their hearts and souls are open enough to sense the presence of the Divine in a mortal baby.

In comparison to these ancient ‘heathens,’ we do not fare that well.

Adoração Dos Reis Magos Na Neve 2 Pieter Brueghel
The Adoration of the Kings, Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1564

Could we conceivably envision ourselves leaving all that is safe and comfortable to trek across a barren desert in search of the elusive Truth?

Would we be willing to embrace the incredible without question?

Would we be astute enough to even recognize the Divine in such an unusual place?

Most importantly, would we be willing to worship a newborn as the Creator of the Universe, disguised as a tiny, swaddled bundle of helplessness without the benefit of teaching and tradition?


Let’s shake ourselves out of our spiritual ruts long enough to listen to the Living God. Let us be open to be surprised by the joy of fresh revelations in a vibrant relationship to a God who yearns to teach us.


Have mercy on us, oh Lord, and deliver a right spirit within us.

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