“In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” Matthew 2:1-2
Who were these wise men?
We know very little about the background that brings us to Matthew’s two verses about these Magi. We know that they came from the East. That tells us that they were traveling west–the same direction that in Scripture indicates travel toward God. We have at different times referred to them as astronomers, as seers, as seekers and as respected members of their culture.
How did this journey begin?
Following the star had a beginning. We long for knowledge of their genesis. Starting out required a curiosity but also a purpose and a direction.
Can you imagine what the journey (two years or so) would have been like for them? They traveled through lands they did not know. They were heading to a place with which they were not familiar. They were transporting items of great worth. At best, they had reasons to fear the day-to-day (and night-to-night) existence that they adopted. And yet their faith in that star and what it meant kept them going.
Can we experience this for ourselves today?
I spend a lot of my work week traveling to meet with people in different parts of the country. I almost always have valuable items with me on these journeys (clothes, money, electronics, etc.). These short journeys are usually to places that are unfamiliar to me, and I usually have to rent a vehicle to use during my stay. Fortunately, I have access to a portable “star” to guide me, in the form of GPS. When I enter a destination address, this “star” gives me full directions from wherever I am to where I want to be.
I have to put complete faith in the leading “star” and rely on it to do what I expect (lead me to my chosen destination). There is a huge bonus to this process, just as there was for the travelers following the star to see God as man. When complete faith is placed in the guidance, we are free to interact in the moment with those around us and to have no fear.
I have to put complete faith in the leading ‘star’ and rely on it to do what I expect (lead me to my chosen destination). There is a huge bonus to this process, just as there was for the travelers following the star to see God as man. When complete faith is placed in the guidance, we are free to interact in the moment with those around us and to have no fear.
Those wise men from the East had the ultimate guide. I can only imagine the joy and freedom they experienced as they followed that guide toward what they sought. But I know that we have the opportunity to be led by that same ultimate guide this season and in all seasons. We can live free of all fear as we are led toward that which we seek.
Unlike using the GPS in my business travels and the wise men using the star in their journey, today we all have the spirit of God in us to be our life “star.” May we each follow that guidance in complete joy and faith that we will arrive at our longed for destination.
Joe Garcia was baptized in December of 1992 and joined FBC. He has enjoyed the opportunities to serve here in many capacities since that time; perhaps his favorite is facilitating The Gathering Community Sunday School class. For fun, he and Louise (his wife of 40 years) competed for a few years as professional dancers. He now enjoys golf, reading and listening to music.