WHAT A TRIP!
C: Worshipping Jesus
Th: Holy Responses to God
First person narrative
PA: How is the change to be observed?
• Seek Jesus.
• Be changed by Jesus.
• Worship Jesus.
RMBC 26 December 04 AM
What an adventure!
My companions and I are on the way home.
We have stopped here to rest in this town and we have been asked to tell you about our travels.
You might think that adventures are only for the young, but I am here to tell you that is not quite true.
For when we left our homeland to come to this area of the world, we had little idea how long it would take and what obstacles we would face on our way.
Maybe we should describe ourselves to you all.
We are magi.
We come from Persia.
From what we have observed of your own country, it is hard to compare what we are and what we do to your officials here.
We are princes, court officials, spiritual leaders, scholards of both science and religion, of both the heavens and of literature.
We are counted as the intellectually elite of our people.
Please do not misunderstand our meaning.
This is our very task.
We are to raise ourselves above the rest when it comes to knowledge and wisdom.
This is our role.
And we would not serve our people well if we did less.
As I have already mentioned…
1. We had quite the journey.
You may ask us what caused us to come all this way into your homeland.
Well, it is good news for you.
But may I share with you that we are stunned that you have known nothing about it?!
We began our journey over a year ago.
We did so because we are students.
We had been studying the movements of the heavens and their meaning when a significant star appeared.
It was so bright, so different, that we understood it to be a sign of an event of great significance.
But this alone did not bring us.
If you remember your history, the Jewish people have lived in our homeland in great abundance.
Though you did not come of your own free will with our predecessors, the Babylonians, through the years, our glorious nations has been more gracious in allowing and even encouraging the return to your homeland.
You are a peculiar people to us, as I suppose we are to you.
But nothing has captured our curiosity as your Scriptures.
We have been investigating the portions that have been left in our possession.
And our study of the words left to us by your prophet Daniel have indicated to us that last year your Messiah came into the world.
He had been born.
So when we combined the study of your Scripture and the sign of the star, we came to a most natural and logical conclusion.
El Elyon, the God Most High, is active in the affairs of the world.
He has not forgotten you His people.
Indeed, it is more than that.
This Messiah of yours is really the Messiah of the world.
And we are glad to welcome Him.
So we came to Jerusalem, for…
2. We knew for whom we were searching.
Your king has been born!
What are you waiting for?
But can I make the point that if you are going to see Him, you have to look for Him.
If you don’t expect Him, you will never see Him.
Frankly, as we walked into Jerusalem, we were shocked at the general disinterest of our mission.
We expected there to be continued excitement at the announcement of a king that was born.
In our homeland, it would be announced and celebrated.
But we found no party.
All we found was apathy and hostility toward our mission.
When we met your king, we were also shocked of his lack of knowledge in this regard.
He showed some interest, but it was an empty one.
If he was so interested, he would have joined us to worship and honor this new king.
But it was clear to us, this King Herod had only this thing in mind – that is the keeping of the status quo.
Nevertheless, we were polite to him.
He gathered the information that we needed from the religious leaders there in Jerusalem.
3. We were directed to Bethlehem.
As you might guess, we do not have in our possession all the Hebrew Scriptures.
We lacked these prophetic writings of Micah which gave clear indication that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
Still, going to Jerusalem had made the most sense.
For regardless of where a king would be born, one would expect the capital to be the logical place to find the young child.
This general disinterest continued to be a mystery to us.
How could people not know?
Nevertheless, we told Herod we would return.
Regardless though, we were excited…
4. We were finally going to see him.
Our goal to meet and honor this new king, who would be a wise and international leader, a man who would make a difference this world, was now finally at hand.
This had not been an easy journey.
Some of our own countrymen had questioned our coming.
It had also been a costly journey.
It took a lot of resources to finance this adventure.
And so often, were tired and discouraged.
Were we ever going to get there?
So many times, quitting seemed to be a viable option.
But perhaps the real killer had been the cool reception we received in Jerusalem.
There is no doubt that our presence stirred things up a bit, but this apathy was almost enough to turn us around and send us back home.
Perhaps this adventure was really a mistake after all.
I believe God Most High knew of our discouragement.
For that very evening, as we prepared to leave Jerusalem to go to Bethlehem, the star reappeared.
One cannot adequately express the joy that entered into our hearts at that moment.
We were doing the right thing.
God was with us!
So off to Bethlehem we went.
The star guided us.
And took us to the place.
There we met the young child.
He was about one year old, moving all about the house, as any active toddler.
And here were two parents that hardly looked like royalty.
Compared to the palace of Herod…
These people were poor.
Yet, this little baby was God’s chosen.
This was your Messiah that we had looked for and you have longed for.
We did not come unprepared, by the way.
We came with gifts fit for a king!
We, of course, came with gold.
Though this humble house seemed an unusual place for such a gift, it is a gift that befits a king.
We also brought frankincense.
We use it in our priestly duties and we understand that your religious leaders do the same.
We know that this leader will be a spiritual one that will intercede to God on behalf of his people.
This gift of incense was certainly an appropriate gift.
We also brought myrrh.
It is a somber gift.
Myrrh’s most common use was for burial and it is our understanding that every person that lives must be prepared to die.
We will never have any perspective if we do not understand our own frailty.
We are born to die.
Our time with this family was so special.
5. We were never going to be the same.
We started out looking for a nameless, faceless king.
We ended with a personal audience to a toddler that drooled, cried, smiled, spoke gibberish, made messes, and wouldn’t stop moving.
This was the anointed one, the Christ.
This was the one that would be King of kings and Lord of lords.
He was due our worship.
I hope you get to meet Him!
As I mentioned before, it caught us by surprise that no one has really celebrated his arrival.
Perhaps you might take time in the near future and go to meet Him.
In fact, why don’t you do it today?
But I wonder…
1. When you meet Jesus, how are you going to respond?
We brought gifts to this young child.
But we came to realize that God Most High was demanding more of us than these material gifts.
We did learn, though, that what was being asked of us was more than what we had originally expected.
That toddler was demanding more than our gifts.
He was asking for our heart.
So, that He received, for we will forever be devoted to Him.
2. Worship is a definite starting point.
But it is really a lifetime act.
We were changed by our meeting with Him.
We hope you will have the same opportunity and the blessing of the same kind of change.
BENEDICTION: [Counselors are ]
When Christmas Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be, Mike Fogerson
What Made These Wise Men So Wise? Michael Davidson
The Magi: Serious Seekers, Joel Smith
What Made the Wise Men Wise? Mike Turner
Balthazar of Baghdad: A Magi’s Story, William Groover