The Journey of the Three Wise Men to Follow the Star
Today with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are going to “personalise” the journey of the three wise men to the stable of our loving Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Their contribution to the Christmas Story can sometimes be overlooked as they didn’t arrive at the stable till eight days after the main event. They were the very first gentiles that Jesus reached out to touch with His love.
At the beginning of this journey we have three men of different race, colour, creed, poles apart and yet with a single unity of purpose according to God’s wisdom and design. They saw the birth of the new star in the heavens and for them it became a sign of something tremendous about to happen here on earth. “Where is the infant King of the Jews they asked? We saw His star as it rose and we have come to do Him homage.” Matthew Ch.2 V2.
Despite our different backgrounds, we also have unity of purpose to know, love and serve our God deeper and to see Him face to face, for like the three wise men, God has chosen us, called us by name, and we are His. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2 V9.
Rejoice in that fact people of God.
Theirs was a journey of faith, hope and trust. They heard the call of the Lord and obeyed, despite the disbelief of their neighbours and friends who probably thought they were going senile – a bit like Noah building his ark on dry land. “Fancy going on a journey to follow a star”.
People of God we follow our star, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our light in the world and ours will be a journey of faith, hope and trust as St Paul said: “we teach what scripture calls: the things that no eye has seen and no ear has heard, things beyond the mind of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him. These are the very things that God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit reaches the depths of everything, even the depths of God.” 1 Cor.2 V9-10. God alone can create that hunger and thirst to know Him deeper. We have but to humble ourselves and ask Him.
What a privilege to be one of His disciples. Do you have an attitude of gratitude to be one of his disciples? Have you the heart response to day: “it’s a privilege to be one of our disciples Lord.”
Most likely our three wise men began their journey alone till they eventually met up with each other.
We perhaps know a time like that where we may have been, or still are the only one who is a follower of Jesus Christ in our own families, and although we respect where the other members of our families are coming from and pray for them, it doesn’t necessarily make our faith journey any easier. What a joy and a delight when we meet others in the community of believers who can help us know, love and understand God more and experience the truth that – “where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” So we take a drink from that stream of living water, with the body of believers, and we are refreshed in mind, body, soul and spirit, to continue on following Christ.
What about the natural obstacles occurring on this pre-ordained journey for our three intrepid travellers: the devastating sandstorms wiping out everything in sight; the thick dark clouds which may have covered the star at times. They would have had to sit and wait till their travelling conditions came back to normal again.
Just like our journey in the Lord. Our times of sitting a waiting upon Him to reveal His will in our lives. Days when it can be so quiet up there that you would give anything if He would only speak one word into your life. You keep
Saying “Here I am Lord – Are you there Lord” and there’s dead silence, and we all know God is not deaf!! Spiritually dry times can be like that – day after day, month after month. That’s when the grace of perseverance is called for. When we can’t see or hear Him, but our faith knows He is there. Then all of a sudden we hear again that still, small voice showing us the way and in our spirit we rejoice and sing for joy.
What a blessing our three wise men would have been for the bandits along the way. After all we have three very wealthy and influential men travelling through open country for miles and miles. They weren’t on foot, they had camels and horses. Their tents were made of good quality silk and all those sheep and goats etc. They would have been constantly harassed by the enemy at different points along their journey.
The same applies to us on our life journey; for our spiritual enemies would love us to change our direction, and take the path that leads away from the Lord. Make no mistake, people of God we are in a spiritual battle. Our spiritual enemies have got harassing down to a fine art! Being no respecter of persons they can come directly into our families to create havoc, or they may constantly chip away at us till we lose our faith in God.
All glory to God for He has given us the weapons to fight these spiritual enemies and send them back to where they came from, using the Word of God, the sacraments, and prayer.
Perhaps one of our enemies in our lives is the thief that steals the quiet time we spend in the Lord’s company. I have heard it said by many a faithful person of the Lord, how rewarding it is to rise just that extra bit early in the morning and spend quiet time with the Lord.
That’s wonderful for those who always wake up early in the morning with a spring in their step as soon as their feet touch the floorboards. For them all the roses are in full bloom before 6 o’clock in the morning. (Especially at a Dove Camp). However, for those of us whose roses still look rather wilted at that time of the morning and don’t come into full bloom till after that first cup of tea, we have to be a little more organised.
We all know it doesn’t take much before the time we allocate as the Lord’s personal time, gets interrupted by the daily flow of life. So I dare to say to you now, take charge of the time God has given you. Control it in the Lord – don’t let it control you. If at home don’t answer the door, take the phone out of its jack-point, and if that is too drastic invest in an answer phone. Start the household chores a little earlier, or later, as the case may be and trust that the Lord will honour you for that, and He will be in control of every situation that will arise over that period of time.
Time where He leads us beside still waters, to pastures green, anoints our head with oil and causes our cups to overflow with His blessings; for He is all that we need.
Finally, the end of their journey is in sight for our three men of God – the stable at Bethlehem – and who should come along but King Herod with his heart prepared to thwart the will of God if possible. This was just another obstacle to see if they would take flight and head for home but they chose to see their journey to its end.
And with us, when we think our hearts are right with the Lord, along comes our King Herod to try to show us a better and easier way to come into God’s kingdom and we have to make a choice once again, to follow the world or to follow Christ.
We may think that because we follow Christ we have got it made and the going will be smooth as silk here on in. Not so my fellow believers in Christ, but the victory for every situation in our life is the Lord’s and day by day He has promised: “that there is nothing we cannot master with the help of the One who give us strength”. Philippians 4 V14. We can be comforted in the truth that the Lord our God will never leave us for forsake us, because of His great love for each and everyone of us. His grace is sufficient for each day: “My name is not I Was – My name is not I Will Be – My Name is I Am”.
When the wise men approached the stable of the Lord, people probably made way for them because of the magnificence of their caravans, clothes and bearing. Others may have complained since they were there first and what right did these three men have to come into the stable.
How would you physically approach the stable of the Lord? We are all unique in Him. Some of us may charge in, looking neither to right or left consequently tripping over the poor donkey in the process, and landing flat on our face before the Lord. Others may approach quietly and reverently because that is in their nature. We may be clothed in the latest designer fashion, or tee shirt, shorts and jandals.
The way in which you approach His stable is irrelevant to Jesus so long as you COME, ENTER AND RECEIVE, all that He has for you.
This Advent can be a time of great healing and blessing for us. With God’s Star in the East – His Holy Spirit there to lead and guide us on our journey, we can come into that stable with our hearts renewed in Him and adore our ever living God. Our fears will be gone and we will wrap our arms around that most precious baby and cradle Him close to our heart. We can look into His Eyes, where everything will become as nothing because of the great love and compassion for us that we will find there. His Spirit will unite with our spirit and we will rejoice and leap for joy at coming of our King.