FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT!
The Wise Men Came
By Linda Martindale
If you have heard the news, you have heard about the Christmas Star that will appear in the sky soon. Well, as a child I had my own Christmas star. It is brightest during the November/December season and always in what we see as east. But let’s think really about the Christmas Star that led the Wise Men. They followed it for two years. Here’s the story as we’re told in the Bible.
When Jesus was born not only did the shepherds see the angels, but at least three wise men (there may have been more) saw a star of great light shining in the East. This star stayed in the same position every night and didn’t move like stars do. They knew it was a signal that something important had happened and they knew that they had to find what it was showing.
Now these men didn’t live in the area around Nazareth. They lived far away. Some people say India, some people say even further than that. Remember, they didn’t have planes or cars to take to see what they wanted to see. They mounted camels and set out to find the reason for the light.
The Wise Men traveled for two years. Think of it – riding a camel, not being home – what a hardship! To them it was a mission that they had to complete. With them came gifts to what they supposed was a king of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Each was valuable and proper to honor someone that was important.
They arrived in Israel and stopped by the palace in Jerusalem. If a king or someone important had been born that would be where he would be they thought. The king, Herod, knew nothing but called his religious leaders and asked them. These leaders consulted their scrolls and found that Nazareth would likely be the site of whatever the Wise Men sought. The King informed them of this and sent them on their way. All he asked was that they returned and tell him what they found so he could go and see this Child.
The Wise Men followed the star to Nazareth where Mary and Joseph was living. They found the three in a house, not stable, and knelt and worshipped the Child. They presented their gifts. That night, God sent an angel and told the Wise Men to go an alternate path back to their homeland. They could not tell the king anything. The Wise Men followed this advice.
Now the king got very mad and ordered some terrible things be done but Jesus was safe. An angel had told Joseph to take Mary and Jesus and go to Egypt. They packed their supplies and went to Egypt where they stayed until King Herod died which was around two years.
So Jesus’s life was very different and not as easy as we think. He was given to us as a Gift but some people just couldn’t accept him. We should remember that there are times things are hidden under a plain wrapper like Jesus’ birth with no big party. All people should be celebrated and help.
As you go through Christmas, think of people you have already helped. I am so proud of you kids at Emmanuel for all you have done to feed the hungry. When this virus is over, let’s plan our next goal.