Tile: Neighbors and Wise Men
Author Tony Kriz
Tony Kriz has an earned doctorate in spiritual formation. He is teacher of faith and culture through the mass media, via social media, and at universities, conferences,churches, seminars, and other speaking engagements. He pastors an imbedded community of life-servants in one of Portland's most culturally diverse neighborhoods.
Neighbors and Wise Men introduces captivating dialogues and unexpected moments with God that go beyond the confines of a conventional religious system and offer the chance for powerful life transfomation.
The ancient church chose to yearly revere the Magi, the pagan scholars from the East, who visited Jesus as a babe. These "wise men" were not Jews, and they were certainly not Christians, as there were no such things as Christians at this point in history. The day the ancient church chose to commemorate the wise men was called epiphany: a word we use today to mean "a profound lesson from a surprising source or circumstance." God wants to share His story. And it is His pleasure where, how, and to whom He reveals His story. We can learn from the themes of God's story from people who do not wear our same religious uniform, do not have our same spiritual name badge and certainly do not come from our same background or experiences.
Have we limited God's ability to speak in our world today? Have we relegated God's creative voice to the select persons who share our particular religious system? Kriz himself felt like he was falling out of faith until non-christians ecouraged him to "fall toward Christ."
May we stand together before the glorious sunset that is the gospel of Jesus Christ and explore it, admire it, and love it. May we learn together to say, "Woe am I" before the wonder of God. And in response to God's eternally creative voice, may we increasingly learn to submit our collective lives to Him. Let the epiphanies come. Amen