Follow the Wise Men

December 20, 2007

They are called the wise men. They are characters who materialize annually in Christmas plays and nativity scenes. Following the holidays each year, these wise men seem to vaporize along with their gold, frankincense and myrhh. The maji are more than figures in the Christmas story; their actions demonstrate the faith and worship that Christ merits. These wise men are more than learned men or astrologers only; they are men of great faith in Christ.

Consider the evidence of their faith and love of God. The scripture summarizes their journey and errand:

“When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and said, ‘Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him…’”

“The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. They were thrilled and excited to see the star.”

“When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshipped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and gave them to him.”

These men were led by a star rising in the sky, but surely they were compelled by a light rising in their hearts to seek this coming king. They did not doubt the birth of the messiah; their question was only where they might find him and worship. Their journey was perhaps hundreds of miles through wilderness and desert. They seemed to know beyond a shadow of doubt that the light in the sky and the light in their hearts must bear witness to a light coming into the world to shine on people everywhere. Their seeking was confessed publicly before King Herod; they told him they sought him who had been born the “real” King of the Jews. They were bold in their assurance of Christ.

Their journey had one purpose. It was to worship the King of the Jews. What humility these men had. They were not Jews, but they were great men of the east. Their people had ruled over the Jews and been at enmity with them. Yet they worshipped this tiny child born in the most humble of circumstances. They saw him in the flesh and in the Spirit. Their worship was their time, bodies, voices and possessions given to this child. Their journey and worship were expressions of their faith that the little baby was the Light of Life.

This Christmas season make a spiritual journey to worship the Lord. Come across mountains, deserts and wildernesses to sit before Jesus; he is worthy of all of you effort. Bring him your gifts of time, body, voice and possessions. Let his light rise in your heart. You may not see a sign in the sky and you will not find him in a manger, but if you seek him and if you ask for him, you shall be thrilled and excited to find him and worship him. For he is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and one day people from all over the world and from all time will stream to him and bow before him and confess that he is Lord.