Peace to those who are far off
In churches around the world, and in many of our homes, the three wise men are kept off stage tonight. They may be down by the church door, or on the far side of the lounge room. But they will rarely be found adoring the Christ Child before January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany.
The reasons for this are complex and misplaced. We shall not bother with them tonight.
Suffice to say that the Western Church has tended to focus on the angels and shepherds on December 25, and to delay the wise men until the twelfth day of Christmas, January 6.
Guess what? There will be very few people in church on January 6, so most of the time most of the people miss out on the message of the wise men.
Tonight, I want to bring these oriental visitors in from the cold.