06 Magi Model of Mediating Epiphanies - Rev. Ellie Barrington

posted Jan 4, 2018, 7:52 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jan 4, 2018, 7:52 AM ]
Matthew's Wise Ones, scanning the night skies for signs, keeping watch, like Luke's shepherds, came upon a star with a spiritual significance, having a cosmic perspective, when the sky was suddenly bright with a holy light, signifying the birthday of a great king. So they set out on a pilgrimage, following the Light to Truth in a distant land. Journeying across borders just to be in the Presence of this baby. They journeyed afar, just to pay homage to a holy one and praise God, revealing the Magi model of sharing a deep faith experience of Christ.

They were wise astrologers of other faiths. Yet, we find them on the Feast of the Epiphany, on their knees before a Hebrew Jewish babe. And they have come bearing only gifts. Come only to share in an awesome, cosmic moment. Unlike Herod, they are remarkably non-threatened by this Messiah, and their presence is utterly non-threatening. These were spiritual seekers, enlightened by their star journey to a new birth. Enlightened–so changed by this spiritual encounter with the Babe–that they returned home 'by another way.' Not converted, mind you, but led to a new insight into how God can work – even through a baby, in a distant land and a different culture. The Epiphany of the Magi is an interfaith epiphany. Jesus' birth was a God encounter that crossed religious boundaries. A shared meeting with Emmanuel – 'God with us', by any and every name.

One of the values of today's emerging Christianity is Deep Ecumenism. Most of you are familiar with the term 'ecumenical' in reference to the crossing of boundaries, and seeking of commonalities between Christian denominations. (Did you know that there are 20,000 Christian denominations?) Deep Ecumenism is the crossing of two boundaries separating different religions and spiritualities, to meet as equals and explore our common Christ. Connecting, to pay homage to the universal God experience of Emmanuel, underlying all religions.

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