When the wise men show up in Matthew's gospel, it's anything but cute. It's kind of dark, actually. Outraged tyrants. Murder plots. Last minute escapes. Matthew's story doesn't have any angels, shepherds, donkeys or a sweet little manger, even. These all belong to Luke's story. Which is the kinder, gentler gospel. The wise men get a little spotlight time this time of the year. But kind of like any Christmas pageant, they are usually tacked on to an already awesome story. As a bonus or something.
This Sunday at St. George's, we'll be celebrating the feast of the Epiphany, which normally ends the twelve days of Christmas. It is one of the older feasts in the Christian calendar, being celebrated first in the 4th century. Epiphany means “manifestation” or “striking appearance,” It celebrates the (the revealing, the unveiling) of Jesus’ divine identity to the gentiles--the people who do not yet know the story of the God of Israel.