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Day 19 of 26 :: Harry Potter and the Newborn King

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 HANNAH

I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.

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I’m one of those people who can very easily get wrapped up in the historical accuracy of a story. 

I want the correct details. 

I want to know the text is right. 

And so, I will admit, I was spun for a loop when I encountered the part of the Christmas story about the magi coming to visit Jesus with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

Because of how the story has been romanticized and portrayed over the years, I believed the magi were kings. That’s how I see them in all the nativities I’ve come across— robes of thick velvet and deep hues of purple and gold. Their heads topped with crowns. Their beards thick and dropping to their bellies. 

I pictured kings because, for so long, I was told that kings came to worship Jesus. 

The wise men were not kings. Not even close, really.

Soon after I figured that out, I realized the wise men also didn’t show up right on time. It was roughly two years after the birth of Jesus that the magi made their appearance. And where it might be easy to think, “Great, all the magic of my childhood is being sucked out of the story,” that’s not the truth we are gathering around today. 

Actually, the story of the magi is more magical than you can ever imagine. The fact that these specific men showed up to worship Jesus is even more proof of what a great and awesome God we have. 

In Matthew 2, the story of the magi starts out with a single word: Behold. Because we’ve heard the word in telling after telling of the Christmas story, it’s easy to become desensitized to it. But when the writer of Matthew writes “Behold,” he is saying: Hey, listen up. Pay close attention. This is a big deal and I need you to see this.  

The magi coming was not amazing because they traveled far. 

The magi coming was not amazing because they brought gifts. The magi coming was amazing, something to behold, because the magi were not kings— they were Pagan sorcerers. 

Magi comes from the word “magic.” This is why their visit is such a big deal because they were a) not believers and b) not the people you would expect to bow down and worship Jesus. This is like Harry Potter, Merlin, Dumbledore, and Gandalf showing up to see the baby. 

These magi specialized in dark arts. They were astrologers and they believed in pagan practices. You can find them in the book of Exodus working in Pharoah’s court to stand up against Moses with their magic tricks. They were the kind of people who had violated the Old Testament and the point of them being in this story is clear: though so many might write these magi off, God doesn’t. 

 

Isaiah 60:3 reads as prophecy, “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”  

These pagan astrologers coming from the East were proof of the nations arriving to worship Jesus. They were gentiles. They were considered “unclean.” And when they saw the child and his mother the scripture says that at once they fell down and worshipped him. 

God ushers them into the story. 

God wants them at the forefront. 

God is saying, “This is the story now. Where people who need a savior can finally, finally find one.” 

It is so amazing of our God that he would pick Pagans to be the first true worshippers of Jesus. 

  

As Christians, I think we so easily forget that this story is not all about us. It never has been and it never will be. When God picks sorcerers to be of the first to behold his bigger plan, he was letting us know that the story of the gospel is a “come and see” story. For everyone. For anyone who needs hope. For anyone who feels lost and broken. For anyone who wishes to turn their back on things that never filled them so they could finally feel full.  

He wants us to know that by excluding people or discounting people, we miss the point of Jesus coming in the first place. 

He came for the unlikely. 

He came for the lowly. 

He came for the ones the Old Testament would give up on. 

He came for the ones who’d been kicked out and crushed.  

The story of Jesus is first a “come and see” story that is meant to be extended to all. Outward and outwards to touch the nations. It is not a story of exclusivity or a story meant to be wielded like a sword to cut others. It is an invitation, open to everyone, to come and see what’s so different about this little baby in a manger.

READING

Matthew 2:1-12, Isaiah 60:3

 

STEAL THIS PRAYER 

Dear God, peel back the scales on my eyes and debunk the myths I’ve long believed. I want to see you and your goodness alone in the Christmas story. That’s the goodness I want to extend to others– no matter who they are. Help me be an agent of change when people are being left out and excluded from grace.


 

 

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Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!

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