West Union United Methodist Church
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Luke 10:27

Pastor's Corner

 

 Stirrings of the Waters*

(thoughts, observations, hopes, and/or movements of the Spirit)

Epiphany will soon be upon us, and the story of the Magi.   Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar – not to be confused with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – are the names brought to us from tradition and legend, though not from Scripture. It is thought that because three gifts are named, there were three Wise Men. (Again, that number is not from Scripture.) Lots of legends, lots of stories, even some poems have come out of this brief passage in Matthew’s Gospel. G. K. Chesterton’s poem, “The Wise Men,” provides one opportunity to bring the visit of the Magi to a more modern setting and understanding. He also wrote an essay where he imagines three modern gifts. (This version comes from John Shea.):

“They journeyed to a city of peace, a new Bethlehem. They wanted to enter this city and proffered their gifts as passports of admission. The first put forth cold gold and suggested it could buy the pleasures of the earth. The second did not carry frankincense. He brought instead the modern scent of chemistry. This scent has the power to drug the mind, seed the soil, and control the population. The third brought myrrh in the shape of a split atom. It was the symbol of death for anyone who opposed the ways of peace.

“When they arrived at the palace of peace, they met St. Joseph. He refused them entrance. They protested, ‘What more could we possibly need to assure peace? We have the means to provide affluence, control nature, and destroy enemies.’ 

“St. Joseph whispered in the ear of each individually. They went away sad. He told them they had forgotten the child.”

Now that Christmas is coming to an end and we’re putting away the decorations, don’t put away the Christ-child. Find a place for him in your heart and in your life. In the words of Rev. Dr. Henry van Dyke: “Then you can keep Christmas.” And having done so, may the blessings of this great gift be yours in 2021. (find sermon on Home Branch News page)

Grace and peace,
Rick
 
 
PS

 

I have many to thank for their work making the online worship services – especially Christmas Eve – possible. To all of you, it would not have been possible without your efforts, skills, direction, consultation, imagination, patience, and prayers. Bless you! And thank you! 

*Refers to John 5:2-9, especially verse 4, concerning the pool at Bethesda within which, according to legend, when the water was stirred by an angel one might enter and be healed.