A side note to tomorrow’s sermon:
It is not unimportant that the wise men came from the East. Why not from the West, from Rome or Greece or Gaul? Maybe in part to undermine the wisdom of the empire, but also in the scriptures of Genesis, thestories of the early Bible, east was the direction that took the people away from God. East was as far as you could get from God. Adam and Eve left Eden by the eastern gate; Cain, the murderous son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother, “went away from the presence of the Lord” by settling in the land of Nod, “east of Eden.” To summon the men from the East, in the traditions, the conventions of the story, God reached as far as God could, to the people as far from Eden, as far from the promise of paradise as God could, in order to cover the whole world, those found, those lost, and everyone in between.