Continuing this “God is with Who?” series for Christmas, today we’re looking at the Magi and what their presence in the Xmas story means.
music is from storyblocks
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If you prefer reading, below is the script I used for this video. It’s not word for word, but it’s close enough.
STUDIO NATHANIEL Hi neighbor. My name's Nathaniel and welcome to Reluctant Sermonizing. This is the second video in our Christmas series. In the Bible the baby Jesus was refered to as Immanuel which means, God with us. So our series is called: God with who? If you missed the first video, I'll put the playlist at the end, and be sure to subscribe if you haven't already. Alright. Shall we? TITLE CARD STUDIO NATHANIEL So, the wisemen. The Christmas story goes that a while after Mary pushed out the baby Jesus. And after the shepherds came and left that we talked about last week. Some wisemen (or magi) then showed up and paid homage to this baby as King of the Jews. Then they got out their air mattresses, spent the night, and a crazy dream that ties into some political intrigue that we'll touch on in a couple weeks. But the main point to telling you this story is very simple: These are magi. Magi participating in this divine story. And magi are priests. They're not Jewish priests. They're not Christian priests. Christianity didn't exist yet. These are Zoroastrian priests. Zoroastrianism is an ancient religion that's still practiced by some today. Freddie Mercury the lead singer for the band Queen was a Zoroastrian. In fact Queen has a song called "Jesus" that ties into the story. But back to the magi/priests, they leave. They don't convert. They don't become disciples. They don't ask Jesus into their hearts. They go back East and continue as Zoroastrians. Ok, now, forgive me for my pronounciations: gulaab ka phool (Hindi), mawar (Indonesian), reste sig (Swedish), jangmi (Korean), kufufuka (Swahili), troyanda (Ukrainian), rose (English). In one of Shakespeare's most famous works, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is pining for a boy who's part of an enemy family. Shakespeare never says why they're enemies, but if you're familiar with the politics of Shakespeare's time, it's not unlikely that the fight is over religion. So Juliet in her yearning says, "What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;" She understands that a name is just a description of a reality that it labels. Let me say that again. A name is just a description of a reality that it labels. Do you see where I'm going with this? If one holds that there is a God, a universal God, a living divinity, wouldn't it make sense that others in other parts of the world would run into this God, this spirit, this rose and describe it in some way that made sense to them? gulaab ka phool (Hindi), mawar (Indonesian), reste sig (Swedish), jangmi (Korean), kufufuka (Swahili), troyanda (Ukrainian). I'm not saying all religions have it all correct. The stories we tell matter. That's why I'm spending so much time critiquing Christian stories and interpretation because I don't think Christianity has it all correct. But that's not a dismissal of these stories. No, it's an invitation to take these descriptions of what people saw and experienced and created even more seriously. Because they're not just some tool of tribal, cultural, or spiritual warfare. Though some people use them that way. No. These names try to describe something real that we humans have been attempting to put words to for thousands of years from every corner of the globe and beyond. That's not dismissing. That's seeking evidence. That's finding that there might be something real like divinity. That there might be: god. with. us. END CARD NATHANIEL Hey, thanks for watching. There is the playlist to the rest of this God with Who? series, or at least as far as we've gotten. And be sure to hit subscribe. Next week we're talking the hot mess that is Mother Mary's story. See ya then.
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