On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him
homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
(Matthew 2: 11)
Legend tells us that it was Saint Francis of Assisi who “invented” the Christmas creche, the now
familiar Nativity scene with all the figures of angels, animals, shepherds, and the three Magi. Many
people eagerly await these figures as part of the church’s décor for the Christmas holidays.
The old set at my parish has been repainted, glazed, and glued back together a number of times in its
hundred-year history of use. A few additional figures have joined the set slightly out of proportion,
giving us a mysteriously larger donkey feeding on the hay behind the manger.
We have fun with the three Magi. Because they are not supposed to appear on the scene until today,
the Feast of the Epiphany, we place them high up in the choir loft for all to see. And every day we move
them closer to the stable until they finally make their dramatic entry today. It is a little silly. But it
makes an important point.
Jesus came to save all people. The Magi found him. They represent the revelation of Jesus to all peoples
everywhere for all generations to come. So like those wise kings who followed the star until they could
kneel and do homage to a greater King, we, too, need to travel our lives’ journey wisely to find Jesus’
Every day we should be moving closer to finding how Jesus continues to reveal himself to us in our
lives. And like the Magi, we need to share that presence with others as we continue our life’s journey.