CHRISTMAS WITH EVELYN UNDERHILL: The Magi
From Light of Christ
Now to accept historical Christianity as God’s supreme self-revelation does not mean some elaborate philosophy of the spirit. It means accepting the gospel story as touching our lives significantly at every point, because it is conveying God. If we are ever to learn all that this record can mean for us, we must never forget that these, beyond all other facts of history, are indwelt, molded, brought into being by the Living Spirit of God, while plastic to his creative thought. And if we thus feel God within these events, some so strange and some so homely, inspiring this action and record, then we also accept all these incidents as conveying something of his overruling will and thought, having something in them for each of us. Nothing is there by accident. Everything is there because it conveys spiritual truth, gives us the supernatural. It all “speaks to our condition,” as Fox would say. The Synoptic Gospels may not always have the accuracy of a photograph but they have a higher reality, they are charged with God. That is the reason why meditation on the gospels, chewing the evangelical cud, is so nourishing to the soul and so inexhaustible as a basis of prayer. In that sense every word of the gospel is sacramental; and like some great work of art gives us more and more light and food, reveling greater depths of significance as we grow in the wisdom which is the child of humility and love. The Magi came away from Bethlehem much wiser than they were before.
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