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Meditation upon the Feast of the Epiphany

Friday, 6 January, 2012

“How Real Is The Meaning?” That’s the question posed by Walter Russell Mead in his Yule Blog 2011-12 post, which appeared on three days ago. Taking as his starting point the Biblical account of the Three Kings who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Bethlehem, Mead takes us on a long journey into meaning that’s guided by this question: How much of the Christmas story is “real” and how much of both this story — and ultimately the entire record of the Scriptures — is historically accurate? It’s all very apt for today’s Feast of the Epiphany. Mead’s conclusion:

“The wise men who followed the star were led to the center of all things. They did not understand the difference between astronomy and astrology as well as we do, but they used what they knew to get to where they needed to be.

It was enough for them, and people today can still do the same thing. We can follow the light we have to the center of all things, to a place that both shepherds and scholars can find, and when we arrive, like both the shepherds and the wise men, we will find that it has what we need.”

Painting: The Adoration of the Magi by Jacopo Bassano (1510-1592), also known as Jacopo dal Ponte, who was born and died in Bassano del Grappa near Venice.

The Adoration of the Magi


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