A. nice to have
-confidence in physician makes it easier to go to doctor
-confidence in Greek skills makes it easier to go to class
-confidence in powers of observation makes it easier to go to Bethlehem
-wise men confident that something significant happening
-observed star, must go to check it out
B. a tale of two confidences
-wise enough to see the signs, the writing on the wall
Q: why were they there?
-faith? No real mention in text
-hope? No real mention in text
-simply hedging their bets?
-confident something significant afoot
-better get on board
-worship v. homage
-scientists can pay homage to ideas, concepts
-worship them as well?
-Herod the great
-he is confident, too
-confidence of office
-support from political/military authorities
-confidence in own ability
-ability to effect change
A. the intersection - Bethlehem
1. again, why were the wise men there?
-have you ever driven somewhere and not known the reason why?
-Holy Spirit v. random occurrence
2. why was Herod there?
-he lived there
-most accidents happen within blocks of home
B. the action
1. wise men
-strangely businesslike at first
-compare v.10 "exceedingly great joy"
-not tipping hand to Herod?
-still, going somewhere
-confident in need to take the trip
-confidence in self v. confidence in the Other
-whether or not they truly understood the full ramifications of their "discovery," still go
-confident in self
-confidence eroding? v. 3 "frightened" or "disturbed'
- scheme to use wise men
-plot to kill the children
-erosion or supreme confidence in own ability, despite the signs around him
A. wise men
-go home by different road
-shift in confidence
-from self (intellect, power, ability) to something/someone else
-we see it in the joy
-they sound different as a result of what they find at the end of their pilgrimage
-businesslike v. joyful
-that is the effect of Epiphany
-new awareness of the Other
-new awareness of self
-confidence in ability to rely on the Other produces joy
-beginning of pilgrimage instead of end
-perhaps that is why no further mention of wise men
-there is further mention of him
-v. 19 - dead
-same old ways
-same old confidences
-confident to the end in his ability to effect change
-not open ended
-limits of own abilities
-refusal to acknowledge the Other
C. witnesses to the collision
-our confidence in ourselves
-ability to generate - conjure up, as a magician might, Christmas and all the trappings
-damages our ability to observe the signs
-driving while impaired
-our confidence in God
-may start in our abilities
-observation of signs
confidence makes things easier - how can we help people to be confident in God?