A personal and present-day reflection on Matthew 2.1-12
On January 6, the Epiphany, the word meaning “revelation,” Christians retell the ancient tale of the arrival of magi from the East, who, paying homage (from the Greek, proskunesis, literally, “to bend the knee”) offer their gifts to the Christ child.
Reflecting on this story less from the church’s perspective of its heavenly meaning and more from an earthly, yet no less sacred point of view, I wonder about the children who, like the Christ child, are born in humble estate. I never need journey as distant as the magi, for these children are not far to seek or hard to find.
In 2019, according to the Children’s Defense Fund, there were 73 million children in the United States; 22% of the nation’s population. Nearly 1 in 7 (10.5 million) were poor and food insecure and 1 in 3 (24 million) lacked affordable housing.
I wonder about me. In my starkest moments of greatest need, I have abundance. So, where and how do I, for the sake of love and justice, and in addition to regular and seasonal contributions of food, clothing, and money, offer my gifts?
The magi, having bent their knees in homage, returned home “by another road.” This year, whether on the road or whilst remaining at home, what new path of the bending of my knees might I seek and find?
© 2022 PRA
2 thoughts on “Bending My Knees”
Thank you for this Paul!! One of the worst things about virtual learning during COVID is that the food – breakfast & lunch – that millions of kids get in school were not provided while they were not in school. It’s all just so scary, not just COVID but all of the other consequences it caused. We should all be on bended knee to learn what we can do to help.
Loretta, you remind me of how greatly connected all things are. Nothing, in this instant case, virtual learning, stands alone without consequences, in this instant case, depriving our children who depend on school-provided meals from access to that daily nutrition. It also occurs (or, rather, reoccurs) to me of that seemingly inescapable law of unintended consequences. Or perhaps that matter is clearer than that, which is to say that the powers-that-be that determined virtual learning was the best course (of a set of undesirable choices) to face the pandemic knew that the children who depended on school-provided meals would lose that benefit and decided to go forward, and, thus, compounding an already difficult set of circumstances.