Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Scribe

(Note: I mean for this to be in verse but I can't figure out how to make Blogger format it the way I'd like.)


The Magi came to Jerusalem to worship the King because they figured, naturally, that the capital was where the King would be.

There they found a king, one who called himself “great,” but he was not the one they were looking for because, after all, he wasn’t a baby.

The great one deigned to help them out so he called for the theologians, the learned ones, the holy men, the ones who knew the Scripture.

“Bethlehem,” they said, “is the place to find the one you seek, for it says so right there in the book of the prophet Micah.”

One of them pointed a long, trembling finger at the place in the scroll, the line that he and they had studied so long and knew so well.

The Magi, being polished and refined and polite, thanked the scribes, then collected their things and organized their caravan and set out.

They set out to find the baby, to find the king, so that they could worship him,
because that is what they had set out to do so many months and miles ago.

The scribes—the theologians, the learned ones, the holy men, the ones who knew the Scripture--did not go, and I do not understand why they did not leave everything and run to him.

Were they so content with their knowledge, with their books, with their theories, that they felt no need to go to him?

Did they really think that knowing what the Book said about him was enough, that knowing him was not required?

Could they not come down from their place to kneel, could they not close their books to worship, that they might move from theory to practice?

How might things have been different, how might they have been changed, if they had accompanied the Magi, if they had seen the baby?

If they had gone to the baby and worshiped him, if they had seen his flesh and heard his cries, would they have seen people differently—would they have seen him in them?

And then there is the thing that really troubles me, the dread that weighs on me—

I am a scribe.

© 2009 Michael L. Ruffin

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