Matthew 2:1-12 relates the account of the Wise Men. They followed a star to Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel. This surely would be the place where the newborn King of The Jews would be found. “Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him’” (2:2).
They must have been deeply disappointed when no one in Jerusalem was even aware of the Star or the event it signaled. Finally, King Harod sent them off to search for the child. “Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!” (2:10, MSG).
The wise men undoubtedly must have been discouraged by their failure to find the King in Jerusalem – by the lack of knowledge about the birth of the Messiah among the leaders, by the disinterest among Israel, and by the weariness from the long journey. The reappearance of the Star must have brought great joy and encouragement to them. With new determination, the Magi set out to complete their quest.
Bless the Lord, they did not stop short of their goal. They stayed with the journey until they came to the right place where the Christ Child was born. They bowed down and worshipped Him. They presented the gifts they had brought. And then, “… having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route” (2:12).
The Christmas season leads people to reflect on “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men”. For a short time, most people treat each other with a little extra kindness and a smile. The music of the season, Nativity scenes, children’s Christmas programs, and gatherings with family and friends all lift our spirits. Momentarily, we take our minds off the troubles of this world. All too soon we return to face the same old problems in the same old ways. We may journey a long way toward finding the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, the Savior of the world, yet so many pull up short of actually coming into His presence.
Preconceived ideas and theories can obscure the search. Like the Wise Men of old, disappointment and disillusionment can settle in. We need the ‘light’ of the Star to reappear in our lives. We need to follow it all the way into the presence of Christ. If we worship Him, give Him the gift of ourselves yielded to Him, we can return to our daily lives a different way. Having personally experienced the Savior, we can journey on toward heaven echoing the refrain, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” Our new route through the days of our lives can be with “Peace on earth, good will toward men”.
THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON, DON’T STOP SHORT OF HIS PRESENCE
~ Brother Roy