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The Wise Men Deconstructed or The Lack of Wisdom in the Wise Men

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Have far would you travel to meet God?  The idea of incarnation is that God is present where we are.  It seems that the answer to the aforementioned question comes easy in the light of a true belief in incarnation of God with us.  I don’t think you have to travel far at all to meet God.  I believe you just have to open your heart.

 

The birth narrative of Jesus would not be complete without the so-called wise men that traveled far to meet God.  For some time, I have thought that they wasted their energy and would later ruin the lives of many people for not waiting on the incarnation of God where they were.  The message of God as told through the life of Jesus is that God is coming to us where we are.  So why did the wise men feel the need to travel so far?  Maybe the wise men were not so wise after all.

 

The wise men stopped to see King Herrod in Jerusalem.  The visit of the wise men with King Herrod later in the story leads to the death of thousands of infants under the age of two in and around Bethlehem as King Herrod tries to make sure he has killed Jesus (who had already escaped).  I would imagine the mothers whose babies were slaughtered in front of their eyes would not call these wise men wise at all.

 

The actions of the wise men and King Herrod reminds me of what is presently going on in Bethlehem.  Wise men and rulers of nations keep talking about liberation for the Palestinians…but by consistently exalting their wisdom and committing atrocities…a people continue to grow more oppressed and degraded by the minute.  The same situation occurs over and over again throughout the world as people are oppressed and degraded and told that wise men and other rulers of nations are doing the best they can.  When those of us whose hearts are soft for all people ask questions and demand answers, we are told to just listen to the wise men.  In our current context…those of us who consistently question the patriarchy, classism, queerphobia, racism and other ills affecting our churches are consistently told to just listen to the wise men.  I am tired of wise men.  I do not want to hear from those who are running around claiming wisdom…I want to hear from those whose hearts are rich in love and hungry for justice.  You do not have to travel far to gain such richness and hunger my friends…you just have to learn to love your neighbor as your self…you just have to learn to love the least of these…you just have to open your heart to love and justice and learn that God is here with us.
I no longer pray for wise men.  I pray for people who will open their hearts where they are.

 

Amen.

 

Delivered at The Queer Church of Dallas 2/9/2014

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