|Some of the star biscuits made at Messy Church|
The details of the story which caused some surprise included the fact that St Matthews Gospel doesn't call Jesus' visitors from the east "kings" and they don't go to the stable but to a house some time after the birth (as they had a long journey to make). It was the shepherds on the spot (the local people -- who were Jews like Jesus himself) who, according to St Luke, made their way to where Jesus lay in the manger. Then the Good News spread further afield to Gentile lands and Wise Men ("Magi" says St Matthew) came from the east, bringing gifts. We don't know how many Magi there were, but since they brought three gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh), an idea developed that there were three of them. Perhaps they were of three different races but we don't know. Nor do we know their ages, but it's a nice custom to think of them as old, middle-aged and young. These traditions help us to feel that we are all represented -- and "Magi" could include female as well as male Wise People.
|The story board in church|