Written on January 7, 2019.
A crazed king sat upon his throne, scribe and courier nearby. Uprisings were not unsuspected, but this one was different. No matter how he tried to squash and squelch the rumors, they only grew. From whisper to roar – the prophecy of a king. A king not him.
All had worsened with the arrival of the magi. They sat with him, but did not seek him. Every conversation returned to a baby king, anticipated and already adored. They even had the audacity to unfurl the riches they carried to a babe, when he couldn’t even get his subjects to pay their taxes.
Gold was meant for a king. His own was heavy on his hand. Signet and seal. And frankincense was to cleanse and reveal where the royal resided. The gifts were rightfully his.
But what of myrrh? For embalming. It made no sense, but gave him a niggling idea.
Something had to be done. The magi were practically evangelizing. The king’s people barely bowed to him, yet they would sit for story. They so easily tethered to a tasty tale. Good news they called it. And he, their King, gave them nothing to hope for but more taxes and oppression.
But there was no king among the Jews. No mother for regal birth.
But just in case, maybe he should kill all boy babes. Feasted and festered on unending wine, he decided to make it so. How heavy did his hand feel under the mass of his ring? As weighted gold fell upon dripped wax? Did it feel like noose upon neck as he sealed the fate of innocence
He missed a step in his frenzied fury. For myrrh was not only for embalming. It was used also to stir blood, move it toward life. Revive. Resurrect.
The magi became missionaries, caught unawares by awe. Sweetly suspended in the sacred space between light and dark, known and unknown, purpose and past. They became narrators of the story, and they couldn’t help its telling. It spilled and poured from them and became more real with each drop. They dwelled inside it, until they couldn’t live beyond it.
The star led them and they stayed. Had they not, had they fought for their way, forging ahead to find, Herod would have found Jesus too. And stalled the story.
But the magi vessels were faithful. They began to see, they came to know. Their days were filled with the suddenlies of shekinah. He was present in the world and they knew. That they couldn’t live without seeing him fully.
Their epiphany led them to His dwelling place.
Our epiphanies do the same. Our responses to His presence reveals where He is most present. Manifestation of meaning comes. Not necessarily what will happen, but why everything that happens is of great worth. Those moments become our chest and vials of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
We live our best life, our most resurrected life, when we dwell where He is most present.
Here is an epiphany from the tale of the magi and us. He will hold our hand while He stays the enemies. The epiphany of never. He will never flee. Never forsake. Never forget.
Pillared: Journal of a time when you had the epiphany of His presence in your circumstance. A place you didn’t know He was at first, but then were given a glimpse of His glory. And you couldn’t stop giving Him the space to be with you.
Passaged: Invite Pappa to give you a passage that reveals more of this story in your life. Delve deeply and come out with the richest of fare.
Mine for this week is Deuteronomy 33:26-27