The Wise Men and Epiphany

Posted by Steve Wilson, Director of Child and Family Ministry on

I have a confession to make. I know many of you will be shocked by this, but I am a thief. Every year around this time, I go around my house and take all the Wise Men. I also take them from church, if they are movable. You might be thinking, “How can you do this? Steve, why would you do such a thing?” Well, let me tell you, it is something I have done for the last 25 years and it has a purpose.

Many people don’t know, or don’t remember, that the Wise Men weren’t at the Nativity the night of Jesus’ birth. (In fact, we are reminded in Mathew 2:1-12 that they did not arrive to meet Jesus until he was at least one year old). The only people who visited the young family that night were the shepherdsthe lowly people who were outside of town in the fields, watching their sheep. The Magi were important, but they didn’t arrive until later.

So why do I steal the Wise MenTechnically, I don’t steal themI just move them. I move them around my house and church for two reasons.  First, I want the Nativity to be more Biblically accurate. Too often, I think Christians may not fully know the story of Jesus’s birth. We take it for granted, and we teach our kids the wrong story, or at least a version of the story that isn’t completely correct. This can be a challenge for kids when they grow up and may think they were lied to or tricked. Secondly and more importantly, the Wise Men arrived at Epiphany. The story of the Wise Men is about a group of people who were outside the promise of Abraham receiving the promise of Jesus. It is a story worth telling correctly. We celebrate it in the church calendar 12 days after Christmas. So this year, if you come to church and notice that the Wise Men are missing from the Nativity, just know that I or someone else may be trying to teach a important Biblical lesson.

If you are nearby our campus, see if you can locate the Wise Men. With a little help from our students and staff, the Wise Men will travel throughout Advent and will arrive at the Manger on Epiphany. A prior version of this blog was shared on 12/4/2020. 

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