Monday, December 31, 2012

Found You! (Gods Among Us)

*Knock,* *Knock,* *Knock,* "Found you!"

Thor is filled with good humor and great scenes. Few of them beat the look of giddy joy, excitement, and enthusiasm on Volstagg's face as he announces that they have found their old friend, Thor.

With warm hearts and strong determination, the Warriors Three along with Lady Sif left their homestead, Asgard, directly against Loki (the ruling king)'s orders. They were willing to search every inch of Earth until they could be reunited with their loyal and trusted friend, the one who has led them into various battles and has always been on their side, Thor the son of a god.

One thing Dr. Gibbs along with a good amount of other theologians and commentators emphasize is the fact that the (three?) "wise men" were not necessarily that wise. The Greek word here magi (μαγοι), would be better-understood as scientists, astronomers, sorcerers, sages, or even magicians. These wise guys were people known to be educated, especially in their respective fields. But, as many others insist, that isn't the point. These guys were nothing more than our friends above.

They were doing what they do (studying whatever they study) until a light bulb went off. The technical term for this is "epiphany." Which is a lot like "eureka" ("I found it!"), but passive ("It has been revealed to me!"). These men were not wise enough to find God on their own accord, but needed Him to be shown to them (by a giant spot-light in the sky).

Still, the journey misses the point. The glorification of these gentlemen is a shot in the dark. Rationalizing their true and original intent misses the mark. The point, the straight arrow, the solid shot to the bulls-eye, is who God had led these wise guys to, someone who is even more than the human title of "ruler" and "shepherd" could hope to explain.

The awe, wonder, and amazement that these men must have found as they fell on their faces, worshiping their Lord who had revealed Himself to them was only preceded by extreme joy.

In fact, Matthew says that when they saw the star standing above the place where the child was they eckareisan karan megalein sphodra (εχαπησαν χαραν μεγαλην σφοδρα) this means something like "they were exceedingly cheerful magnifying greatly." These four words in themselves seem to fail to express their excitement of finally knowing their Lord (let alone make the translation).

And, we have even more reason to rejoice. At this time of year, while we think of the incarnation of God, the witnesses, and the history we also know the Word, the reason, and the purpose for His arrival. "For the joy that was set before him [He] endured the cross," "a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." It was even before His lowly birth that He knew His prophesied death. And, he took on the challenge with courage, humility, and compassion.

With a warm heart and strong determination, He left His proper homestead, to be the Savior of Earth so that He could reunite us with Him. He is our loyal and trusted friend. He is the One who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us in our own battles with sin. He has always been and will always be on our side. He is the Christ, the Son of God.

So, we know, with the joy of the warriors and the sages, that God not only arrived here on Earth to reveal himself to us. But, also with a deeper purpose, to redeem us: To save us from ourselves and make us more like Him so "that we should be called children of God."

It is not with only a sort of guilt or horror that we remember the story, but with the sudden warmth of joy and excitement.

Now, rejoice with the cheerfulness of the wise men and the giddiness of Volstagg!!! Rejoice knowing that He has come with purpose, with salvation, and with hope!!! Rejoice for we know that He is God!!!

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