Wise Men

POETRY: Carol Of The Brown King by Langston Hughes

December 29, 2015

Of the three Wise Men Who came to the King, One was a brown man, So they sing. Of the three Wise Men Who followed the Star, One was a brown king From afar. They brought fine gifts Of spices and gold In jeweled boxes Of beauty untold. Unto His humble Manger they came And bowed their heads In Jesus’s name. Three Wise Men, One dark like me— Part of His [...]

POETRY: The Journey of the Magi by T. S. Eliot

January 5, 2013

“A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of year For a journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter.” And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory, Lying down in the melting snow. There were times we regretted The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces, And the silken girls bringing sherbet. Then the camel men cursing and grumbling And running away, and wanting their liquor and women, And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters, And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly And the villages dirty and charging high prices: A hard time we had of it. At the end we preferred to travel all night, Sleeping in snatches, With the voices singing in our ears, saying That [...]

CHRISTMAS MEDITATION: The Wise Men by Ernesto Cardenal

January 4, 2013

The place is Solentiname, an archipelago in Lake Nicaragua; the setting, a campesino church service in the mid-1970s.  Padre Cardenal, the priest, does not believe in sermons, but brings the gospel alive by leading his congregation in weekly dialogues like this one: We were in the church.  I said by way of introduction that Matthew’s words, “in the days of Herod the King,” tell us that Jesus was born under a tyranny.  There were three Herods; or, as we might say in Nicaragua, three Somozas: Herod the elder, Herod his son, and a grandson Herod.  Herod the elder, the one at the time of Jesus’s birth, had ordered two of his sons to be strangled on suspicion of conspiracy, and he also killed one of his wives.  At the time of [...]

CHRISTMAS MEDITATION: Only a Rumor by Søren Kierkegaard

January 4, 2013

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. (Matthew 2:1-4) Although the scribes could explain where the Messiah should be born, they remained quite unperturbed in Jerusalem.  They did not accompany the Wise Men to seek him.  Similarly we may know the whole of Christianity, yet make no movement.  The power that [...]