Joyful Light

light star

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way (Matthew 2:7–12 ESV).

During Advent, we narrow our focus to the preparation for the coming of Christ into our world. In the Matthew text, the Magi saw a new star and traveled to Jerusalem to make inquiries. Herod then convened Hebrew scholars who informed him that the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, whenever it is He comes. Off the Magi went towards Bethlehem in verse 9 and lo and behold they looked up, saw the star again and were overjoyed. So they followed it... and then it stopped! X marks the spot.

Let’s review. They saw the Light, they followed the Light, and then the Light stopped, and in essence looked back at them. Gulp, decision time. I can imagine their pulses quickening as they knock on an unknown door after dark. “Excuse me, sorry to bother you, is the Son of God in here?” How do I respond when the Light looks back at me? Unlike the Wise Men, do I prefer to follow at a distance?

And then they saw Him (YES!!) and fell to their knees, bowing down to a baby. Then out came the gifts. No doubt this scene will repeat with us when we finally see Him and involuntarily collapse to our knees, arms outstretched… Every knee will bow and tongue confess..

Why weren’t there others equally curious enough to follow this strange star?

Although God’s calling is to all of mankind, He does it one at a time. When you and I see the approaching Light this season, may our response match that of the Wise Men.

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