Thought For The Day 12/15/14

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The Other Wise Man

Post 1374

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“I do not know where this little story came from–out of the air, perhaps. One thing is certain, it is not written in any other book, nor is it to be found among the ancient lore of the East. And yet I have never felt as if it were my own. It was a gift, and it seemed to me as if I knew the Giver.”

Henry Van Dyke

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Have you ever wondered why it seems like you are always late for the party? I know I have! Couple that with the feeling that so much of what we do is not just too late, but too little, as well, and it is no wonder that we so often doubt ourselves and whether we are really making a difference in the world. Which is why I wanted to share with you a synopsis of story I once read. Written by Henry Van Dyke in 1895, it seems to put into perspective so much of what we think we accomplish and change versus the impact of what our actions really do accomplish! And since it is during this time of the year that we think about one very special gift given to all of mankind…. and of the gifts that were given to this very special child by some who came to honor him and celebrate his birth, it seems very appropriate to share this story now!

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The Fourth Wise Man

The story is an addition and expansion of the account of the Biblical Magi, recounted in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. It tells about a “fourth” wise man (assuming the tradition that the Magi numbered three to be true), a priest of the Magi named Artaban, one of the Medes from Persia.

Like the other Magi, he sees signs in the heavens proclaiming that a King had been born among the Jews. Like them, he sets out to see the newborn ruler, carrying treasures to give as gifts to the child – a sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl of great price. However, he stops along the way to help a dying man, which makes him late to meet with the caravan of the other three wise men.

Since he missed the caravan, and he can’t cross the desert with only a horse, he is forced to sell one of his treasures in order to buy the camels and supplies necessary for the trip. He then commences his journey but arrives in Bethlehem too late to see the child, whose parents have fled to Egypt. However, Artaban continues his search, and in the process, saves the life of another child at the price of another of his treasures.

Artaban arrives in Egypt, only to find that, once again, he is too late to honor the Christ Child.  Traveling to many other countries, searching for Jesus for many years and performing acts of charity along the way, consumes the life of this pilgrim. After thirty-three years, this seeker after light arrives in Jerusalem just in time for the crucifixion of Jesus. But while there, he spends his last treasure, the pearl, to ransom a young woman from being sold into slavery.

He is then struck in the temple by a falling roof tile Artaban is about to die, having failed in his quest to find Jesus, but having done much good through charitable works. Suddenly, a voice tells him “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 24:40 NIV). 

Artaban draws his last breath and dies in a calm radiance of wonder and joy. His treasures were accepted, and the Other Wise Man found his King.

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So never doubt or wonder if what you do is enough because a single act of kindness can and will change the life of that one person, and, ultimately, WILL change the world!

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But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Luke 10:29-37 ESV

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Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry

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About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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