I have a story to share with you today about three wise men
– THE three wise men.
Some of this story
is biblical and some of it is not, and some of it is purely from my
Because it is an important
skill to develop – the ability to tell the difference – I’ll leave it to you to
determine which is which.
Our story begins in Persia, with three wise men gathered
together for breakfast. Melchoir had
invited Caspar and Balthazar to join him for a wise-men’s retreat – Melchior
lived in Babylon, and he had the largest home of the three, so Caspar had come
from Persia, and Balthazar from Asia. It
was a time to get together to read and study and to share their many “wise-men”
insights. Can’t you imagine all of the
intense discussions, the certainty of “rightness” and the quoting of ancient
masters? As we join in their
discussions, all three are sitting together at a large wooden table, drinking
the strong coffee that Balthazar had brought with him from home. Melchior’s trusted servant, Abid, moved
around the room, serving plates of fruits and cheese. The three men, much to Abid’s chagrin, were
working their way through several manuscripts, reading, and dropping crumbs on
the precious scrolls. Abid was almost
always frowning and scurrying around to clean up their messes.
All of a sudden, Caspar jumped up, his plate flew to the
floor, and Abid grabbed for the hot coffee.
Ignoring all of that, Caspar said, “Listen to this, it is from an oracle
by the name of Balaam – “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near – a
star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.”
Balthazar countered, “Very interesting. Listen to this one – from Micah – But you, O
Bethlehem, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth
for me one who is to rule in Israel.”
Not to be outdone, Melchior said, “The prophet Isaiah says this
-- For to us a child is born, to us a
son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.”
The three men reviewed
their calculations and compared their star charts. Caspar said, “Now is the time. We must go and see this child-king.”
Another one said,
“No, not now – maybe next year – look at this calculation” He waved a parchment around, barely missing
Caspar banged his
hand on the table, rattling the cups of coffee, and frustrating the attentive
Abid. “Buck up, friends! We must follow that star!” Abid, righting the coffee cups, filed the
word ‘Starbucks’ away for future reference.
“Listen to this,”
said Balthazar, ‘They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the
praise of the Lord.’ We should bring
gifts! Who will bring the gold? Who will bring the frankincense? I think I have some extra myrrh stored
away.” The three men shuffled their
papers and stared at their feet.
Caspar, “I don’t think I really need to take gold. What would a child do with gold? But in my room is a bag of copper coins. When you pack for me, add that to the camel’s
“And, Abid,” said
Melchior, “I might have some frankincense in my room, but let’s leave that for
another giving opportunity. Pack that
perfume we picked up at WalziarMart.
That will do.”
“Oh, yes, Abid,”
added Balthazar, “It must be myrrh for my gift, but bring the myrrh my
mother-in-law gave me last year, not the jar I’ve been saving back for my own
funeral. That child won’t know the
difference, I’m sure. It’s the thought
that counts, right?”
So Abid rolled his
eyes, and started packing.
To be continued tomorrow...