In today’s world, Epiphany, the arrival of the Magi to worship Jesus, is just a blip on the radar. We are picking up speed as we move into a new year, with a clear path in front of us. But for these Wise Men it has taken months to travel first to Jerusalem and then on to Bethlehem to find the child born, “King of the Jews.”

We capture this part of the Nativity narrative with three costumed children, some ceramic camels in our creche and lavishly robed kings across our Christmas cards.

Many of the pictures of the Wise Men show that they rode camels from the East to find Jesus. Have you ever ridden a camel? This is an experience I checked off my own bucket list a few years ago while visiting the country of Jordan! I only rode a mile or so down the path and it was quite bumpy! My camel was on a mission to cause havoc and wasn’t really willing to listen to any direction!

For a group of Gentiles to spend the time, energy, and patience to travel to a foreign land was a big deal! Prior to their arrival, the shepherds, Simeon, and Anna were the only recorded witnesses to the birth of Jesus.

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” – Matthew 2:11

The last we hear, this caravan travels a different way home because they know King Herod’s motives are insincere. And it’s another months-long journey full of bumpy camel rides. Only this time, they are filled with awe and wonder of what they have witnessed.

We can only wonder how the Wise Men lived the rest of their lives. As we celebrate the Light of the World even beyond this day, may we, as Christ-like servant leaders, “Witness Willingly,” living in a manner that gives witness to Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, just as the gentiles from the East did.

Emily Phoenix

New Programming Coordinator

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