Summary: This is the fourth in a series of messages looking at the Advent/Christmas Season. This is a first person sermon looking at Advent through the eyes of the Magi.
Good Morning. Your pastor tells me that he has been sharing a series of messages called Through the Eyes of Christmas. Well he asked me here today to tell you first hand what the Advent was like through the eyes of a Magi.
First let me dispel some of the rumors that have started about my friends and I.
- We are not kings as your songs portray - though some might call me one - many people follow me and my teachings but I have no real kingdom to speak of.
- We are not magicians either - we don’t practice black magic or cast spells
We are really scholars - astrologers of sorts - but science and study have been my whole life. I have studied many things in my long life. Prophecy, and history, other cultures and yes even the stars. Many have called me wise and I would have agreed with them until the night I met Jesus.
- I wasn’t there the night Jesus was born even though you have put my likeness out in your manger scene I see- actually it was some time after Jesus was born that we (that is my friends and I) found our way to Bethlehem. Jesus was a child of less than 2 years when we arrived but certainly not a newborn.
Our story begins when a star appeared in the Western sky. This star was no ordinary point of light. This star shone brighter than any other in the heavens. It shone out with more than light it shone with a message that pulled at my heart. A message that something wonderful, something monumental had happened in a distant land. There was a general knowledge throughout the eastern world that a Sovereign would come. Through our studies we had learned that the Jews were looking for the coming of one they called Messiah. We had studied their Rabbinical writings and found that the stories were strangely compelling. We knew the stories but now the questions began. Could this be the sign we have waited for? Could this be the sign of the messiah? As we discussed this among ourselves a need and longing filled our hearts. To travel to see what this star could mean. To travel to find this newborn King of the Jews.
We loaded up provisions for a long journey on the camels. Gifts – we needed gifts – if we were to meet a king we needed gifts to offer Him. Each of us pulled together the finest we had to offer this king when we found him and we set off that very night.
More than 1,000 miles we traveled – it took us over a year – but still we continued–in the direction in which the star had appeared. As we went we passed through the wonders of all the world. We traveled through the heart of the Roman Imperial Power. Fortresses and splendor not know elsewhere in the world. We traveled through the heart of Greek culture – art and architecture that we could have spent a lifetime studying. But need drove us on – need to find the answer to the stars message. Need to find this king that had been prophesied. We came into the district of Judea. There in Jerusalem we came to the Palace of mighty Herod. With walls 45 feet tall and ornamental towers standing out above the wall. The palace was both forbidding and awe inspiring. If anyone would know where to find this king – this Herod would know.
Herod called us before him in audience. He asked us who this baby was that we were searching for. The king of the Jews we answered. We have followed his star here to Jerusalem and we search for him to pay him homage. Herod put his scholars to work to find out where this Messiah was prophesied to be born. Bethlehem was the answer. A short journey from Jerusalem. One thing I ask Herod said to us. When you return come to see me again and tell me where to find this child so that I too can pay him my respect. Herod did not look to me like a man who would pay respect to anyone other than himself – but we agreed.
As we left the palace – we saw it – the star had reappeared. Quickly friends I pleaded while it is still shining. We followed the star to Bethlehem to a small home on one of it’s side streets. There the star stood directly above us and hope filled us that our journey was at an end.
When first I saw Him I understood why my heart had been filled with such urgency. I understood why my journey had been so compelling. There sitting on His mothers lap – was God in human flesh. I can’t explain how I knew – I just did. As soon as I saw Him I fell on my knees to worship Him. Not because I had to - no one forced me - My heart was just so full of who He was that all I could do was worship Him and give thanks. If you could only see Him - you would do the same - I had gone through all the false religion and meaningless offerings but now I had found the object of true worship.