Our assistant priest, Rev. Kate, gave a great sermon about the magi Sunday. I won't recap the whole thing, but her main point was to talk about why Matthew included the magi in his gospel. The point, she said, is that these men were not Jews. They were pagans. Yet, God accepted their gifts and their worship. Why is this important? Well, most of us who are members of the Christian church are not Jews.
Furthermore, not only were the magi Gentiles and pagans, they were the scholars of their day. These were very learned men, experts in the subjects of astronomy and astrology, which was a respected branch of knowledge in most of the ancient world. And it was their very learning that led them to follow the star (whatever it was) and find Jesus.
In our culture, too often all we see of Christianity in the media is an emotionally based, non-intellectual religion, one that is suspicious of worldly learning. It's good to know that God has room at his table for all of us, including those who take a more scholarly, intellectual path.
Happy Epiphany to all of you.
P.S. Come back tomorrow for T.S. Eliot's poem "Journey of the Magi."