IF WE CHRISTIANS would join the Wise Men, we must close our eyes to all that glitters before the world and look rather on the despised and foolish things, help the poor, comfort the despised, and aid the neighbor in his need.

Martin Luther, "Wise Men," sermon in The Martin Luther Christmas Book, Roland H. Bainton, editor and translator

THE MAGI were also intellectuals, students of the stars and seekers after truth. It took the learned sages somewhat longer than the unlearned shepherds to find their way to Bethlehem, but they got there in the end.

John Polkinghorne, Living with Hope

LET US REVEL in the light of that star beneath which the ordinary becomes holy and the holy ordinary, beneath which it becomes exceedingly clear that there is nothing more we must do or be to be loved by God.

Barbara Brown Taylor, "Decked Out in Flesh," sermon in Mixed Blessings

THERE COMES into the world one who is announced as the world's Savior and the Prince of Peace—and this leads immediately to the murder of children. It is almost as though the forces of evil, recognizing the extreme menace to their authority which the coming of Jesus portended, intensified to a new pitch of viciousness their determination to destroy the good.

Michael Stancliffe, "Wise Men's Faith," in Stars and Angels

THE MAGI should be a great comfort to us. They brought all that they had to the Lord, not just their expensive presents, but their very lives.

Fleming Rutledge, "Who are those Magi?" sermon in The Bible and The New York Times

THE THREE KINGS had only a rumor to go by. But it moved them to make that long journey. The scribes were much better informed, much better versed. They sat and studied Scriptures like so many dons, but it did not make them move. Who had the more truth? The three kings who followed a rumor, or the scribes who remained sitting with all their knowledge?

Søren Kierkegaard, Meditations from Kierkegaard

THE MAGI didn't return to the Orient by the same route they arrived on. Learn from the past. If you want to change your life, then change your way.

Augustine, Sermon CC, William Griffin, translator

WHERE CHILDREN wish upon a star or wise men scan the universe in hope let your bright beams surround their dreams and guide their hesitating feet to where a miracle is born.

David Jenkins, from prayer in The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers, Dorothy M. Stewart, compiler

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Related Elsewhere:

Past Reflections columns include:

Advent (Dec. 10, 2003)
Wisdom for Ministry (Nov. 10, 2003)
Discerning God's Will (Oct. 6, 2003)
Work and Vocation (Sept. 17, 2003)
Bumper Sticker Theology (July 30, 2003)
Songs from the Soul (July 8, 2003)
Walk Humbly (May 28, 2003)
Mercy (May 8, 2004)
Cross and Resurrection (April 16, 2003)
Justice (March 18, 2003)
Sex, Love, and Marriage (Feb. 14, 2003)
Mountaintop Spirituality (January 23, 2003)
Word Made Flesh (December 20, 2002)
Desert Springs (November 25, 2002)
Matters of the Mind (October 16, 2002)
Bumper stickers (August 6, 2002)
Preaching (July 18, 2002)
Prayer (June 24, 2002)
Suffering and Grief (May 20, 2002)
Writers and Words (April 18, 2002)
Crucifixion (March 28, 2002)
God's Mission (February 13, 2002)
On Enemies (January 8, 2002)
Life After Christmas (December 26, 2001)
Love & Marriage (November 13, 2001)
The Word of God (October 22, 2001)
Leadership (October 11, 2001)
Suffering (September 13, 2001)
Change (August 14, 2001)
Living Tradition (July 18, 2001)
Sacred Spaces (June 11, 2001)

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