Matthew 2:1-2, 9-12 “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem a band of scholars (wise men) arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.…Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time! They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. In a dream, they were warned not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country.”
The Wise Men. or Magi, were well-respected, educated, and honored in their home countries. In their study of the heavens, they saw a particular star announcing the birth of a great king in Bethlehem. They traveled a great distance to pay homage to this new great ruler.
They followed their vision or dream. Something had to captivate them enough to put a hold on their lives for over 2 years. Something kept them focused and persistent. Imagine the excitement and anticipation that drove them thousands of miles across the desert.
Finally, the drew close to the appointed time to behold the newborn king…to find what? Not a palace. No armed guards. No treasures. No servants. No glamour. Nothing but a small house with a simple, poor family. We really don’t know the initial reaction. Initially, they were probably discouraged, disappointed, maybe even angry.
We all have something we’re holding onto: a dream, goals, a vision…something we feel might be our destiny, something God ordained. There will no doubt be disappointing and discouraging moments along the way. But God is not so much concerned about the bumps in the road as He is about how we respond. The world looks for God only in the good and blames Him for the bad. We need to look for God in the good AND the bad…because He’s always there. These are the moments God shines the most and proves Himself strong, willing, and able.
Whatever kept them moving across the desert was still working in them because “they could hardly contain themselves.” Joy? Peace? Renewed faith? Courage? It was a defining moment which convinced them that “they were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time.”
That prompted them to not hold back but give their best. And three significant, even prophetic gifts: Gold (which was only given to royalty, or a king), Frankincense (which was used for worship) and Myrrh (used for anointed the dead). Something told them they were exactly where they needed to be.
Now, because Herod was so wicked, he wanted information from the Magi as to the whereabouts of this King. The Magi were forced to change their plans and they “they worked out another route.” There are things we’ll need to change if we properly respond to His calling…maybe things we need to give up or surrender…things that need to be tweaked or changed.
Let us patiently endure the delays, inconveniences, and unmet expectations. To be in God’s will is the easiest place to be. It might not always be easy, but is the easiest and the best.