Magi Musings

I wonder about the magi,
those Eastern sages who came from afar
following the star
to Jerusalem,
then onward to Bethlehem.

I do not wonder
about their number.
Scripture makes no mention, saying only that they bore gifts three;
hence, by convention, tradition
has assigned three.
for all we know,
there may have been but two or four
or more.
Perhaps a score?
time o’er,
the three have been given names
and Balthazar!)

Yet this I wonder. What did they wonder
after they beheld the grandeur of the babe in the manger;
after they presented their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh;
after they began their journey home by “another way.”

magi going home

Did they talk among themselves
(or fall silent, each to his own reverie,
their individual counsel keeping;
perhaps afraid to reveal what [that!] they were thinking,
about that baby)?

Did they wonder how can we serve the potentates of our home lands
as we have done in our time
and our fathers before us
and our grandfathers before them
now that we have beheld, far greater than our magic,
the mystery of the Lord of all generations in our flesh?

And what of the tools of our trades? How can we wield them?
Our sacred tomes,
our auguries, our prophecies,
our potions and prayers to our little gods of little glory,
and e’en that, now fore’er empty.

And what of ourselves? What do we do?
We who
have lost our once-thought ageless vocatio;
which, as the tide of time slipping through our fingers
no longer
summoning us to employ our arts,
for we have knelt at the feet of the Ancient of everlasting Days!

thinker - at a loss

Today, I wonder what does anyone do,
me, you,
once we become blind to what we held
for we have beheld
an epiphany
of God’s glory?



4 thoughts on “Magi Musings

  1. Paul I simply love this!! There’s a lot of wondering going on which I love… but there’s also a sadness and acceptance of getting older and what to do next…..I so agree that when we are younger we work in our vocations and feel we are contributing. Then as we age we risk not being called as often as our careers wind down. But I now think that we are getting better with age and more able to make our own rules and roles to continue to do God’s work… so as for me I just keep moving forward and will see what happens! I do wonder what my reaction would have been if I had seen the baby in the manger. Even hearing the story as I child I felt empowered to be able to do anything I put my mind to in life.

    Much love!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loretta, I love your reflection on growing older and, on the one hand, wondering about not being called on as in the past and, on the other hand, charting new courses with the freedom to divine your own rules and roles (love that alliterative phrase!). What you share is in accord with my experience (so far!) in retirement. I have felt, at times, out of the proverbial loop of life, no longer seen as contributing to the state of things and, on the other hand, I have feel and oft feel a freedom to do what I can when I can where I can and how I can in ways that are not restricted by the overburdening expectations and demands of others. In this dichotomy of sensing myself out of bounds and establishing my own boundaries, largely I experience a liberty I’ve not oft known. Thank you, always, for stirring the percolating pot of my thinking and feeling. Love

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Isn’t it wonderful to NOT be overburdened by expectations of others!! I now fill my calendar ONLY with things I WANT to do. I also love the freedom to charge what I like, especially when it’s a non profit or a group who can’t pay certain fees. I can lower my fee to meet the needs of those who need it most! It makes me feel awesome!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loretta, I rejoice with you in this place to which you have come. You always will be – in the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s description of Jesus: “A man (in your case, a person, a woman) for others” – one who wills and is able to serve others. Still, again, I revel in your freedom to name and claim for yourself what matters to you, what feeds your soul, what revives you, what, verily, you desire to do. Wonderful!

    I think, for me, it has taken retirement (or, I laugh to myself, my semi-retirement of my “rehirement” both at Clevedale and Epiphany, Laurens) that has allowed me not only to behold what life can be – not ignoring the expectations of others, but – in not being driven incessantly by the wants, needs…demands of others, and, in following my own lead, not to feel guilty. I like this stage of life, this state of being.

    So, as I rejoice with you, I rejoice with me!



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