Summary: Lessons we can learn from the wise men at Christmas.
-->At a reception honoring musician Sir Robert Mayer on his one hundredth birthday, elderly British socialite Lady Diana Cooper fell into conversation with a friendly woman who seemed to know her well. Lady Diana’s failing eyesight prevented her from recognizing her fellow guest until she peered more closely at the magnificent diamonds and realized she was talking to Queen Elizabeth! Overcome with embarrassment, Lady Dian curtsied and stammered, “Ma’am, O ma’am, I’m sorry, ma’am. I didn’t recognize you without your crown!”
--Well, the Bible tells us of some wise men who were used to being around royalty, but recognized the true King...even without a crown.
---No, there weren’t three of them...that comes from a wrong legend that has been added to over the years.
---No, they weren’t kings...advisors to kings, yes...regal, rich, upper class, yes, but not kings.
---No, they weren’t from the Orient....again, it might fit well into song lyrics, but it doesn’t fit the facts of the case.
---And no, they didn’t show up at the manger...they came to the house where Mary and Joseph had started staying some time after Jesus’ birth...despite the many Christmas programs we’ve seen with them making a grand tableau coupled with the shepherds and other nativity characters.
<>Courageous travelers, absolutely...in fact their true wisdom is shown in their actions and their gifts.
<>And they are also great teachers...we can learn a lot from them even today.
-I invite you to open a Bible and turn once again to Matthew, chapter two.
--ILL>A few days before Christmas two ladies stood looking into a department store window at the large display of a manger scene with clay figures of baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men and animals. Disgusted, one lady said to the other, “Look at that! The church is trying to horn in on Christmas!”
<>Well, the place to look for the real meaning and lessons of Christmas is not in department stores, on on-line shopping networks.
--The place to look is in the Bible.
--And there are many lessons we can learn from the story of the wise men...the magi...and their trip to and from Bethlehem.
<>THEY ARE ROLE MODELS IN THEIR ACTIONS...
1) THEY NOTICED WHEN GOD SPOKE.
->God got their attention where their interests were...He sent them a “private message” in the skies, among the stars.
---They were “magi,” known to have been astrologers as well as philosophers and advisers to kings.
---They were constantly charting the stars, watching the skies, so God got their attention in the middle of where their attention was.
->They recognized the message as being something important, important enough to personally “check out” its meaning.
->Even with the distractions around them, the distance they were from Jerusalem, etc., they noticed and listened to God speaking to them.
--<>APP>This Christmas season we need to not let the “noise” of the trimmings keep us from giving God our full attention.