Sunday, December 18, 2011
Star of Wonder
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Matthew 2: 1-12
As I began to research these wise men, I soon discovered that many of the details that we envision of them aren't actually mentioned in the Bible. The Bible doesn't say how many of them there are, how they traveled, and it doesn't say that they found Mary and Jesus in the stable...they were found in a house, perhaps after some time had passed. The story has evolved over the centuries as people have given the men names, assumed that they rode on camels and that there were 3 of them because of the 3 gifts, speculated that they may have been Kings, etc.
Regardless, it's a wonderful story of faithful believers that followed God's signs to meet the child who would eventually change the world. Their giving of precious gifts to the child helps to remind us why we give gifts at this time of year. Their faith in God's guidance and protection is powerful and a great example for us all. May you look for God's signs in your life journey to point you to Jesus, "the Messiah who is worth every mile."
Merry Christmas, and may God bless you.