Christmas is a time of wonder, reflection, and revelation. Every time the tale of the beginning of Christ’s life is revisited, there are always new truths to discover. The book of Matthew tells us that Magi from the East followed an object in the sky for a considerable amount of time that led them to Jerusalem roughly two years after Jesus’ birth. After a brief stop with Herod, they finally found Jesus. There in the house of Mary and Joseph they worshiped the Savior and presented him gifts. They were then warned in a dream to not return to Herod, but to travel to their country following a different route.
Legend labels them wise by nature, but it’s their choices that define them.
Wisdom is obedience to divine direction.
Without obedience humanity is lost. As the psalmist said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding” (Psalm 111:10). Had these men not heeded the divine direction of a distinct star or the godly guidance of their dreams, they would have remained lost… separated from the one of whom it was prophesied, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
If we don’t heed the divine direction in our own lives, we too will be lost.
The wisest among us are the ones who obey. Their journey is marked by submitting to a divine will and obedience is built upon obedience. When we obey, like the Magi, we find Christ. Without obedience we are lost.
Today we look on the life of the one who “humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:18), and I wonder what distinct star has been shining for quite some time that I have yet to follow. What is it for each of us? Maybe for some of us it’s seeking forgiveness or letting go of a grudge. For others it’s standing up for a faith that’s become all too comfortable. What is it in our lives that we know can no longer delay, because it’s time to obey?
For all of the unique ways God directs us to obedience, there’s one that unites us on this day. Like the Magi ages ago, it’s simply finding Jesus. As we celebrate the divine Word who “made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14), may wisdom lead us to meet with him today. You’ll find your own place in Matthew Chapter Two, as wise men still obey Him.