Journey of the Magi

Journey of the Magi

Jan Richardson writes, “And yet the same Word that was cloaked in humility, that immersed itself in the things of creation, sometimes elicits a response that is extravagant beyond measure” (The Luminous Word, 15).

Our final gathering of The Advent Table on Sunday evening was rooted in the story of the Magi from Matthew 2.7-12.  Twenty adults and eight children gathered for a simple meal and reflection on Matthew’s telling of the story in anticipation of Christmas.

In The Luminous Word, Jan Richardson contrasts the sparse simplicity of her own charcoals with the extravagant illumination of the four gospels by monks living in the British Isles over 1,000 years ago.  The Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells intricately weave images and texts as extravagant responses to the Word of God.  Imagine the countless hours devoted to each detailed rendering.  Extravagant worship lived out daily through the creation of each prayerful page.

We spent time with a few of these beautiful texts and then listened once more to Matthew’s telling of the story of the Magi traveling with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh .  We read the text aloud together; listening for an image or word that God might be offering to us as a gift in this Advent season.  A few of us shared the gift arising in the time of sacred reading before transitioning to our small groups for reflection.

John Wesley’s class meetings were designed to help Christian folks of his day to “hold one another in love.”  His method was simple.  Gather in small groups.  Pray.  Share with one another how it is with your soul?  Pray for one another.

A simple process, with extravagant possibilities for growing in faith and service and love.  We practiced Wesley’s method and then closed with communion one more time around the advent table.

May your final hours of Advent be filled with the extravagant simplicity of God’s in-breaking hope.