or maybe not?
Well kiddies it’s almost time for the annual celebration of that wonderful heartwarming tale: The Slaughter of The Innocents.
You know the tale, I’m sure? But just in case, let’s refresh our collective memory of the details, shall we?
The Three Wise Men, or Magi, are those foreign blokes with long beards dressed in long robes depicted on Christmas cards, riding on dromedaries following a star.
Odd that Luke, the, er … historian, never mentions them.
Also odd that, in at least one Christmas carol, they are referred to as Kings. I was one of them at our Sunday School Nativity play when I was seven. Who could forget, ”We three kings from Orient are.”
Of course, this referred to the Orient, somewhere in East Asia. I was initially going to plum for Vietnam. After all, who could possibly gainsay me? Remember: You weren’t there, man!
However, it was more likely somewhere in Persia, as this is where the term Magus originates, and not Leyton Orient which is an English football club outside London in the suburb of Leyton just off the A12, between Walthamstow and Stratford.
It’s worth mentioning that the Magi were astrologers, and if memory serves, don’t Christians have a thing about what basically amounts to magic and fortune telling?
Pliny the Elder wrote several chapters about the Magi wherein he details their skill in magic arts—including pouring boiled earthworms in the ear to cure a toothache! Hence the term ”Ear worm”?
Perhaps they offered this remedy to Mary when the kid began teething?
So … the Magi follow a star which is a sign that a new King of the Jews is born.
Now we all know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, right? So why does the star lead the Wise Men to Jerusalem to the door of Herod, someone who was not known for such niceties as tolerance, forbearance and understanding?
As the script writers in a certain Life of Brian noted ” … doesn’t seem very wise to me.”
Having alerted Herod there is a usurper in town, the star … oh, let’s give it a capital letter,shall we? The Star now leads our travelers to Bethlehem where, acting as a GPS parks above a barn/inn/stable/hovel/house.
All that is missing is the large hand with the pointing finger and the booming voice saying: ”Here he is!” .
Not only is this tale obviously a complete work of fiction, it is clear to anyone who has a reading comprehension level about a caterpillar that it was God – the Creator of All Things – that for no apparent reason whatsoever,not only led the Magi to Herod’s door, but was the one responsible for prompting Herod to go on his Baby Killing Rampage.
Yeah! Go Yahweh. You’re the Man.
Sheesh! What an Omniscient Nob.