“After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
The star that led the wise men to Jesus was unusual. It was brighter and more spectacular than any other. In fact, some historians believe that it could have been an alignment of planets, a comet or possibly a supernova. Either way, it event occurred through God’s perfect divine providence and appeared to announce the birth of Christ for those that were watching and waiting. From all practical perspectives, everyone should have noticed the splendor of this unusual event. But scripture and other historical sources tell us that this was unfortunately not the case. Only a few educated philosophers and astronomers were able to interpret this glorious birth announcement, three of which are revealed in our passage for today. They knew that they were witnessing something extraordinary. An event was taking place that was beyond the traditional and often narrow view of the world, and they wanted to be a part of it.
Sometimes we allow tradition to cloud our perspective of the extraordinary things that God is doing in the world. We get so consumed with our narrow view of faith that we forget that his view encompasses so much more. Especially during the Christmas holidays, it’s easy for us to get sidetracked. It’s easy to slip into a complacent mindset that misses the big picture. When this happens, peace tends to elude us and joy becomes a rare commodity. Just as many missed the coming of the Messiah, we miss the unusually bright star in our lives as well, because we fail to look up.
As we move into the last week of Advent, let us commit ourselves to look up and see things from God’s perspective. Let us not miss the “bright morning star”. Let us keep our eyes upon the “light of the world”. As He guides us toward Christmas, let our perspective be clear, and our view broad.
Gracious God, we confess that sometimes we allow ourselves to be consumed by the culture around us. With our eyes focused on the world, we miss the miraculous things that you do in our lives. Help us, Lord to keep our eyes focused upon you and not miss the guiding stars that you place before us.