In our church we celebrate Epiphany—Little Christmas, or the arrival of the Wise Men—as evidence that Jesus was sent to save us all, not just the Jews. King of ALL Kings, baby. Everybody’s in.
Christians have been known to forget this. We all like to think our church is the best, even though we know that’s not the name of the game. The Wise Men serve as a reminder that our ways are not God’s ways and we don’t know what we don’t know.
But in case we missed the point, on Sunday, Father Arje told this story at church:
There were three coconut farmers, and they all lived on the other side of the island from the market. This required them to haul their harvest across the island. One day they were sitting in the shade, sipping cool coconut milk. Two of them were having an argument about the best way to get to town.
“To go around the east side of the island is the best way!” said the first. “It’s the way people have always gone.”
“Bah!” said the second farmer. “That path is old and crowded. Too many people. The west side is new and less crowded. No towns. No one but farmers on the road. It’s faster!”
They continued to argue back and forth until finally they turned to the third farmer. “What do you think?” the first farmer asked.
“Well,” he said, “I have gone to the east and I see the value. But I have gone to the west and there is value there as well. And recently, my sons and I forged a new path right through the mountains, and it seems solid.
“So here is what I think. You can go to the east, and he can go to the west, and I can go straight ahead. But we’ll all arrive at the market. And when we get there, does the owner ask us ‘Which way did you come?’ No—he asks us ‘How good are your coconuts?’”
Wouldn’t it be amazing if this year we worried less about what the other farmers were doing and focused instead on growing good coconuts?