As the Good Book Says...” On entering the house, the magi saw the young child with Mary his mother, and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. – Matthew 2:11 (NRSV) MATT LANEY | One of my favorite characters in musical theater is Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye is fond of saying, “As the Good Book says...” usually followed by some- thing that isn’t in the Good Book. The same is often true for Christmas. Luke’s Gospel says Jesus was laid in a manger but says nothing about a stable or that animals were present. And what about those “Three Kings of Orient Are” in Matthew? Well, they aren’t. Matthew never calls them kings. There is no mention of camels. Matthew doesn’t number them. There might have been three. There might have been thirty-three. Here’s something else the Good Book doesn’t say about the magi: they arrived in time for Christmas. In fact, they were late. Really late. They entered “the house,” not the stable, and they saw a “young child,” not a newborn. That gives hope to a late bloomer like me. No matter how arduous the journey or how long the night or how reluctantly I move, the Christ child is content to extend the cel- ebration until I arrive. Jesus will receive my presence and my gifts anytime. When that happens, it’s not only Jesus’ birthday party, it’s also mine and yours too. As the Good Book says, to find Jesus is to be reborn. It doesn’t say anything about when. PRAYER Jesus, I’m on the way.

About the Writer:
MATT LANEY is a United Church of Christ minister and the author of Pride Wars, a fantasy series for young readers.

Source: “What’s Left of the Night?” | 2022 Advent-Christmastide Devotional by the Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, made up of United Church of Christ ministers and writers who collaborate on resources for people in the church, outside the church, and not sure about the church.