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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, December 20, 2004
    It's a kinda Magi-c
     
    Planning right over Christmas today ... and tomorrow I'll be digging out my old Magi sermon, ready to refresh it for a new audience in a fortnight's time. I like celebrating that these visitors, the magi, were strange travellers in the story of Jesus' birth - foreigners: they came from outside, they followed a strange religion, they probably looked different, dressed differently, thought, sang and dreamed differently from those they visited. And they have a place at the very heart of the Christian story.

    They carried a different sort of wisdom, the Magi. They found significance in the stars; they found guidance through their dreams. The Magi connected the physical world easily to the unseen world. They were after a God who was at the heart of all things, a creator, an originator, one who kept the stars in tow, who you could find in the rhythms and relationships of nature. Soothsayers, astrologers, wise dreamers tuned into creation - thus oddly Godly, despite what some graceless religious folk would say... then as today. Matthew wanted us to know that Jesus received their affirmation.

    Tonight I'm tickled by a news report in Northern Earth about the aftermath of the summer's floods in Boscastle. The unique Museum of Witchcraft was severely damaged in the floods, NE reports, but this "unique resource," carrying "an awesome array of objects and literature relating to folk magic and medicine" is well on the way towards restoration because of plenty of goodwill and voluntary donations. NE continues,

    In an ironic twist that drew laconic comments from locals, the Museum building survived relatively intact - but the nearby expressly Christian gift shop and building, established as a riposte to the museum, was washed away in the flood.