The central figures of the Epiphany story are the three wise men that are also known as the three kings. I don’t think they are really kings, but they are ordinary men that saw a star with great faith. These men were willing and able to see that the star is a great sign to follow even though they don’t know what it means. It led them to a trip of their lifetime to meet the Holy Family: Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.
The story of the three kings also leads into the story of another man: Herod. Herod was the evil king that was so blinded by his self-importance and power to control. He even killed his own family. Being a mad king, he ordered the slaughter of innocent children because of the birth of Jesus.
The story of the three wise men is something that the movie industry retold in the film The Three Godfathers, western American style. One of the major characters was by John Wayne.
How did they become The Three Godfathers?
It was Christmas time, and the three wise men were up to no good thus no peace on earth but out to rob a bank. The robbers went on a run and found a woman giving birth. The woman died giving birth, but before she died, she asked the three men to be the child’s godfathers. She made them promise to take the child back to New Jerusalem.
The godfathers, although macho, as they were, are but far from being wise. However, they fulfilled their promise and put their own freedom on the line to take care of the baby.
This movie is brilliant in some ways in comparison to the Christian story. The western style Three Wise Men story has it all: the heroes to protect the innocent, gunfight and the barren scenery of tumbleweeds bouncing over.
The story of Epiphany challenges me to continue searching the divine in the ordinary and recognize the God of small things in daily existence.