Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "For Thy Mercy And Thy Grace"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 2:1-2 – Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." (NKJV)
This is a familiar passage from a well-known story of 2000 years ago. Fast forward to today: You have just sent a tweet which features a picture of a majestic star:
- Fellow scientists and academics, we have been charting the course of this star for several days now. There is no scientific explanation for this star. I believe that this star fulfills the prophecy quoted in Numbers 24:17a – "I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A star shall come out of Jacob; A scepter shall arise out of Israel." (NKJV) I am planning a pilgrimage to follow this star. The journey will take us far and will be difficult. We will take gifts and go and see the King! Please private message me if you would like to join the adventure.
Who do you think would reply to your tweet? Most people would probably think, "What a nut job!" Oh sure, a few thrill-seekers might want to join you, but would there be anyone who would have sufficient faith to believe that a King was being born to fulfil an ancient prophecy?
There are actually more questions than answers about the magi. Were they wise men or kings? How many were there? Did they travel on camels or horses? Where in the east did they come from? Despite these many questions, we do know that on faith, they undertook a difficult journey through deserts and mountains. They were confident that they would find the Christ Child, and they brought valuable gifts to worship Him. Who would do this — embark on a journey of hundreds of miles based on … faith!? They departed bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These were not items that everyday folk had sitting in their homes. Surely, there must have been pomp and ceremony attached to the preparation of the journey and the gifts. If they failed to find the King, they would return humiliated. Yet, no doubt is reflected in today's passage, only confidence that they would go, they would find, and they would worship the King.
We are poised to launch into a new year. Some of us eagerly await the joy of a new year, while others can barely wait to leave behind 2020 — a year of much pain and loss. Some will enter the coming year with trepidation. What will medical tests reveal for me? Is it possible to mend my broken heart? Lord, how will I survive with no job?
Jesus asks us, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith." (Matthew 8:26 NKJV) We now know that the magi found the Christ Child and did indeed have the opportunity to worship Him. Let us consider the faith example of the magi and enter the new year confidently, worshipping our Lord and knowing that God will be beside us no matter what we encounter.
Prayer: Dear Lord, You are about to give us the gift of a new year on this earth. Help us to enter this year, worshipping You, confident in Your love and support. No matter what our situation, may we feel Your omnipotent, powerful presence, and know that all will be well, no matter what awaits us. Amen.