My reflection today is from the Wise Men:￼
A Caravanasary Near Damascus
December 31, 0001
Dear Christmas Friend,
We’ve traveled enough today. Still a long way from home, but we do want to get this letter off to you while everything is still fresh in our minds.￼￼￼￼
As the saying goes, we are now sadder, but wiser… and broker.￼ So many Christmas scenes picture us as being kings – rich kings with costly robes on our backs, and gleaming buckles. But we are not rich men, only wise. (And as everybody knows these two qualities don’t always go together.￼)
As you North Americans would put it, we ‘blew it all’ on Christmas. All the money we saved up went into those expensive presents we gave Jesus, placing them in the care of his mother and good Joseph. No regrets. We’re glad we did it. The very best is what God has given us. We were honored to represent all people, everywhere, who reach God by whatever wisdom. We wanted to give our best in return. ￼
Remember this, please. Now that the bills are coming in… and you notice, maybe, that you gave other people better presents then they gave you, never mind. You did it because you loved. Don’t ever regret any sign of love. Rejoice that you took the trouble to do so. Our greatest acts of kindness are only clues, faint ones at that, of God’s great kindness to us all.￼
But we want to say more. It has to do with ‘sadder but wiser. ‘ By wisdom, we arrived where Jesus was. By wisdom, we helped King Herod and his Scribes understand what was going on and what to do about it. We thought our insights would be an influence for good.￼
Not so. All of Jerusalem continued as they were before. They even massacred little children, they were so pigheaded in their attitudes. We were lucky to get out alive.
You, too can feel the sting of such things. The year’s end can sometimes sting you even more painfully. You know what will help somebody. You know the advice that will bring happiness and peace to those who suffer. You tell them so… and they don’t care. They stay in their stubbornness, and maybe even hate you more￼￼.
Never mind. Do what you can. Don’t get upset by failure. Pray for those you cannot reach by wisdom. Leave the outcome up to God, the way we did.￼
Have no regrets for the good you did last week. And have no anxiety about the good you cannot do next year. Even in our wisdom, we’re only human. Remember this.
Our Christmas Love,￼￼￼
Three Men of Wisdom”