Matthew 2:1b-2 – Behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship Him. (KJV)
1 Corinthians 12:4,8-9a – Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit. (KJV)
Matthew, in his Gospel, gives us only the highlights of the incident of the wise men. We do not know how they banded together to travel as a group, and we must simply assume that they travelled by night to follow the star. We too, as a group of Christians, are travelling together at night, and much of our spiritual journey is covered in darkness and shadows. Sometimes we are able to pierce the gloom; other times we pass through the darkness and shadows without fully understanding the landscape. However, we find our assurance in simply following the star.
Some years ago, I was given a personal star to follow. My husband and I experienced the divorce scene, and my star was a promise that we would be reunited in marriage. I am so glad that God, in His love, did not indicate how long it would be before this promise would come to fruition, because it was to be almost seventeen years before I would hear Ron's voice again after the divorce. Although the wise men took their eyes off the star and consulted secular counsel, because of the constant love and comforting of the Holy Spirit and the support of my family, I did not resort to this or any other avenue of assistance.
Through this experience, I believe my gift was the gift of faith, because during those years I believed God's promise, and I lived each day as the culmination of that promise. When the wise men came into the presence of the child-king they gave gifts of adoration and praise. When I come into His presence, the only gift I shall be able to lay at His feet is my gift of faith. We are all given gifts, and at this special time of year, when so many tangible gifts are exchanged, may we be reminded afresh of our gift(s) given to us by the Holy Spirit. May we not only unwrap them, but use them well in the days ahead.
Prayer: Our gracious heavenly Father, thank You for this wonderful time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Your Son, Jesus. We remember also that the angelic host could not contain themselves for sheer joy and broke through the boundaries of heaven to tell poor shepherds of the birth of the Great Shepherd of the sheep. Help us, heavenly Father, to take this joy into our world, that others may also seek the star of Bethlehem this Christmastide. We enter into Your presence through the name of Your Son, Christ Jesus. Amen.