Rushville Republican

Church

December 6, 2013

All means All (Second Week of Advent)

“We three kings of Orient are.” So begins a favorite carol of the Advent season about the “Wise Men” who visit the newborn Jesus. And so begins a tale that takes inaccuracy and historical revisionism to a whole new level. Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr., who wrote the carol a century and a half ago, should have known better.

First, we don’t know exactly how many kings there were. There could have been as few as two and up to almost any number. Tradition says that there were three (though some traditions mention 12), and over time they were even given names: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. But these are apocryphal stories.

Second, they were not “kings” from the Orient. They were Wise Men, or put more accurately, Magi. The Magi were astronomers – primitive by today’s standards – who were on the cutting edge of scientific and philosophical knowledge in their day. So it may be best to view these Magi as the uncanny combination of scientists, philosophers, and theologians – but not kings. And such men called Persia home (modern day Iran), not the Far East.

Third, these men did not find the Christ child while “following yonder star.” They saw the star “in the East” or “at the rising of the sun,” but then proceeded west to Palestine. The star did not reappear until they were already in Bethlehem.

And finally, the Magi, technically, do not belong in the Nativity scene at all. They were latecomers to the Christmas party, maybe as late as Jesus’ second birthday. The quaking shepherds, singing angels, and lowing cattle had returned to life as normal long ago. On and on I could go ripping the veracity of this Christmas Carol apart, but that is not my intent.

“We Three Kings” remains one of my favorite Holiday hymns to bellow out this time of year. My critique of it is to simply point out that apart from the accumulations of questionable tradition, we know little about these mysterious men from the East. And these traditions prevent us from embracing what we can learn from them – for the journey of the Magi is a fascinating exercise in unexpected faith.

Text Only
Church
  • Let go…or be dragged A friend who has some experience with rodeo horses sent me a most picturesque proverb: “Let go or be dragged.” Whether this phrase was first spoken by a Zen master who had achieved enlightenment on the mountainside, or by a battered cowboy nursing hi

    July 25, 2014

  • A year older, but not that much smarter I think I am in a rut. No matter how hard I work, I do not seem to be getting any further along in life. Could it be that somewhere in my past, I peaked and did not realize it? If so, I wish I knew about it so at least I could have the consolation th

    July 25, 2014

  • church briefs Faith Baptist Church - Morristown Dr. Wayne Scott, pastorSunday, July 27 - Sunday school at 9:30 a.m., worship service at 10:30 a.m., followed by a pitch-in lunch at noon and an afternoon service at 2 p.m. with a baptismal service at Hancock Reform B

    July 25, 2014

  • Church Briefs First Baptist Church of Rushville“Children should be seen and not heard.” I’ve heard adults say that at times, especially in years gone by. I understand what they mean in some respects. “Children should not interrupt or be a distraction when importan

    July 18, 2014

  • Keeping the Faith: Hitting the Road Here we are, deep in the throes of the rituals of summer. School is out, vacation days are being cashed in, and picnic baskets are being packed. Barbecues are firing, pools are splashing, and ice cream trucks are rolling. Meanwhile, thousands, yea mi

    July 18, 2014

  • religion briefs Senate Democrats seek to reverse Hobby Lobby ruling WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate is preparing to vote on a Democratic-sponsored bill aimed at ensuring that women receive free contraception coverage even if they work for a company that has a religious

    July 18, 2014

  • Let It Go, Let Go, Let It Go This year I celebrate my 20th year as a practicing grandfather. I am not sure that after 20 years I know anything more about being a grandfather than I did before. I have not found any books written on how to be a grandfather, maybe I should write on

    July 18, 2014

  • chu-rv071814-church mouse logo Just checking in today - Angel the Church Mouse Hi, all you kind folks in Readership Land.Mercy! July is fleeing. Bible School has been about in city and country. What a joy hearing little voices singing hymns and reciting Bible verses. Now, soon school bells will be ringing! Didn’t they just stop

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Keeping the Faith Decades ago, while speaking of an upcoming championship bout, Muhammad Ali constructed a poetic couplet of epic proportions. With glitzy words corresponding to his style both in and out of the ring, “The Greatest” claimed he would “Float like a butte

    July 11, 2014

  • Have a blessed day; now fire me if you dare! I must confess to a severe case of poverty. I never took a vow of poverty; it just seems to have worked out that way for me. I am so poor the church mice have packed their bags and moved on. If I knew where they moved to, I might join them.Being poor

    July 11, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.