Summary: A look at the journey of the Wise Men and ours as well.
Year Round Christmas
December 31, 2017
It was a few days after Christmas. A family was busy cleaning up and putting away the Christmas decorations. As they took down the Christmas tree, the son asked “what are you doing?” The parents said, “We’re putting all our Christmas stuff away.”
The boy asked, “Why are you doing that?” The mom answered, “So everything will be back to normal again and the house will be clean, Christmas only lasts a few weeks.” The boy responded, “I don't want things to get back to normal again.”
On this first Sunday after Christmas, many of us have that thought too. Christmas is over — let’s pack everything up and bring out our Valentine’s decorations. After all, the stores have already done that. Christmas items are 50-75% off – Valentine’s Day items are out in force.
Sometimes, I think we rush away from Christmas too quickly, we do too good a job at cleaning up after Christmas, and quite possibly - - we run the risk of removing it from our lives.
What if after Christmas we could keep life from getting back to normal again? What if we could really hang onto Christmas and take it with us into 2018?
Maybe we can do that. Not that everything will be perfect, or always go our way. Nor do I mean we can escape the same routine, the same schedule, the same responsibilities, we’ve had to struggle with before. Nor do we need to keep our Christmas decorations up year round.
But, I wonder if there is that happy medium, maybe even more than that, because there should be something different about us, because we’ve been able to see a star of wonder, to hear the angels sing, to hear the cry of a babe, and have our hearts strangely warmed because God came to us AND has never left us.
Today, I want to look at the story of the visit of the Magi, a visit of some Wise Men from the east - - - who came searching for Jesus.
Listen now to the words of Matthew ~
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem
2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.
5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.
8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the Child.
As soon as you find Him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship Him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way,
a the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the Child was.
10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
11 On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him.
Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. – Matthew 2:1-12
These men came into Jerusalem looking for a king, but they met another king who immediately felt threatened when he found out what they were doing. Herod became suspicious of them and this king began to plot the death of any who would threaten his kingdom. The Wise Men came to give their devotion to the new king and wouldn’t be turned aside.
Now, one thing to note about this passage, it never says how many wise men there were. People often depict them as 3 men, because there were 3 gifts. But in reality, we really don’t know how many wise men there were.
In our world, there’s still a lot of suspicion and skepticism. It can poison relationships, goals, noble-endeavors, groups, and ideals. In that darkness, we can’t allow the light of Christ to be extinguished.
Hang onto the light of Christ as we move further away from Christmas.