Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
It has been said that we often define ourselves in opposition to other people. The experience of difference makes it so easy to slip into terms of ‘them’ and ‘us’ then it is only a small step to polarisation. But the Gospels don’t work like that. They show that we come to know who we truly are when we offer ourselves either in service to others or in worship to God.
In the opening chapters Matthew not only shows Jesus as the fulfilment of Jewish history, he presents this Messiah as ‘God with us’. Yet the first to worship him are not his own people but rather some foreigners from afar. At the conclusion of this Gospel Jesus orders, yes, orders his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. We can say that the fulfilment of this most Jewish of the Gospels is not to have a Christian community who is closed in on itself but rather one who takes their faith out to all the world – for it is when they are doing that that Jesus has promised to be with them.
In the Magi, those experts in astronomy and astrology and possibly priests in their own religion, we see people who have come on a quest filled with courage, curiosity and tenacity. They were looking for an infant King. They found him clothed not in royal glory but as God clothed in human flesh. While they offered themselves to him in worship and with the best gifts they had, this was in response to discovering the extraordinary offering God was making to them in the person of Jesus. God offering to them. They offering in return. This becomes the model by which we define ourselves, not by opposition but by service and love.