Reading: Luke 2: 1-12
The people of Israel had been sent into exile to many points east. The Assyrians and Babylonians had defeated them and dispersed the Israelites throughout their empires. Some of the people of God remained faithful while in exile. And somehow the stories of faith that they told amidst these foreign cultures was heard by outside ears. When the strange star appeared a long-ago memory was triggered and the Magi head off. The Magi follow the new Star to see you this newborn king of the Jews. God provides the lead as the Magi travel west toward Jerusalem, the capital city. After all, wouldn’t a king be born in the palace?
But the God who leads them from afar only leads them so far. The star disappears as they come to Jerusalem. So the Magi go to King Herod – it must be his newborn son that they have journeyed two years to see. But this is not the case. So Herod gathers the religious leaders and they quickly recite the Micah prophecy. The Magi head off towards Bethlehem. For the Magi what happened next must have been attention- grabbing. The star that had appeared and disappeared suddenly reappeared. The star guides them on into Bethlehem and comes to rest over the home of Mary and Joseph.
God’s amazing power again emerged as the Magi continue their journey. They have brought gifts – a customary gesture. But as these educated men enter the house to end their quest and to satisfy their curiosity, a strange thing happens. They worship Jesus. These scholars bow down and worship Jesus. Not their intent when they began the trip. Being in God’s incarnate presence must have triggered something in them. Perhaps it was the same sense or feeling that lef the first disciples to leave all when Jesus simply said, “Follow me”. May it be the same in each of us this day. May we bow and worship the King!