The wise still seek him – and they still come bearing gifts. They bring to the Christ Child the symbols of his transcendence: gifts for royalty, for priesthood, for martyrdom. And what they bring is still less than what they receive, and being wise, they know it. That is why they come: because here at the feet of the Christ Child they are in the presence of a mystery greater than any king, any priest, any martyr, any prophet. They are in the presence of the living God.
In Jesus the fullness of God is pleased to dwell.
In Jesus we are ourselves invited to dwell: to live in his tent as he has come to live among us, as one of us.
Gifts, presence, manifestation and invitation: today we are invited to kneel with the wise at the feet of the Christ. We bear our gifts: our selves. We stand like them in the presence of the living One.
Shown to us by the leading of a star, or some less likely light, we too travel from afar to be at this manger side. We too have been chosen to receive the gift of his Light, and to reveal to the World his Word.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)
Each of us is called to service, each of us is called to witness; but first, each of us is called to worship: to adore, at the side of his little bed, in the smallest of miracles, the quietest of triumphs, the living God, present among us in the form of a human being like ourselves.
With no trappings of glory other than those he receives from us – and from us he is more likely to receive, inevitably, a crown of thorns – he yet comes to us, bringing to us Light and Life and Hope.
The star in the east, the wise ones sought: and they followed. And they found him. We can do no less. And no less will we receive, in the cover of word and sacrament and Spirit, him whom they sought.