ONE of my favorite Christmas stories is about the "Three Wise Men." I put them in quotations because we don't know if there were three; we're not sure if they belong to the Christmas pageantry or if they came later (after the nativity scene), and if they were Kings (as the song suggests). We do know Magi from the east came to the house where Jesus was and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. We also know that before they made it to Jesus, they stopped off at Herod’s place in Jerusalem to get directions.

         WHAT really matters is not so much who they were, how many their were, and exactly when and where they came from. What does matter is who they came to see and why. I guess that could be true of everything important in life. It's about the "who" and the "why". So in the case of the story of the three wise men, they came to see Jesus and the reason was to worship Him.

         THIS great Bible story reveals our deep need to find a star. It seems we are wired to worship, idolize, or star gaze at those who prove to be excellent in some way. I guess you could say we all need a hero. Times may have changed but people are basically the same. Three magi (astronomers) saw a star and knew it was the one to follow. Notice they said, "We saw His star."

         ACTORS, athletes, musicians, artists, etc. are great, but aren't they only people? I mean people are great, but I need more than just some person. Skills diminish, intellect wanes, beauty fades... But "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."  Hebrews 13:8. This is why I need Jesus, He's the only real star. He's the only one who can stand the tests of time.

         WHEN the Magi finally found Jesus, Matthew 2:10-11 says, "When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child..., and they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh." There are a couple of things I would like to draw your attention to from this text: They were overjoyed when they found Him - 1) Who or what gives you joy? They bowed down and worshiped Him - 2) Who do you bow to? They opened up their treasures - 3) Who do you open up to and share your hurts, hopes and dreams? They presented Him with gifts of gold (a gift to a King), incense (a gift for a Priest) and myrrh (burial spice for the Sacrificial Lamb) - 4) Where do you put your gold (riches), incense (spiritual life) and myrrh (sacrifice)? The simple answer is your idol or hero... the star of your life.

         IN order to find the right star, we need the right source. These wise men came to a logical place to find the one born King of the Jews... Jerusalem, the religious center of the world. The only problem is Kings, politicians, rock legends, movie stars, sports heroes, journalists, religious experts and college professors may know a lot about a lot, but it doesn't mean they know the Lord God. You'd think that title, birthright, education or success would count for something. But knowing God doesn't come from the natural. Sheer will or intellect alone is not the answer. God is unknowable to everyone but humble searchers of truth. He reveals Himself only to those who sincerely seek Him.        SO, what did the "Wise Men" do? What wise men do, they went back to the source. The star which led them to the star. God will lead us to Jesus who then in turn leads us back to God.

         AS the card says, "WISE MEN STILL SEEK HIM." This is who I want to be, a wise man, seeking God.

         THE prophet Amos wrote these words in Amos 5:4, "This is what the Lord says, 'Seek me and live." This is our theme for the coming new year. I not only want to live, but I want my life to count for something. Jesus is the answer for me. I want to seek Him in every aspect of my life, for in Him is life. Will you join me this year as we:

 

"SEEK GOD AND LIVE IN 2017"