Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
Reflecting on the Christmas story this year initiated yet another study focus for me in 2012: the wise men. I've already committed to pursuing answers and insights on the life of Moses based on my fascinating trot through the Pentatuch this past year, but reading this passage in Matthew also piqued my interest so it seems I will have a nice balance in the Old and New Testament in 2012.
I mention it today because several things about this passage jumped out at me more forcefully with this past read. One, the kings knew enough about the history of the Jewish people to rightfully notice and identify the significance of the star. Two, likewise, they acknowledged the event as being of great importance - enough so that they determined to make the trek to visit the young child. Three, they clearly respected the Christ child enough to avoid returning to Herod when they were warned by an angel. Who were these men? What were the significance of their gifts? How did they know so much about His birth and determine that it was worth their attention? What did they do with the information when they returned home? Where were they from? Where on the birth story timeline do they appear (I know we have them in the decorative nativity scenes, but I believe I've heard it said that they actually arrived 2 years later...something to learn). Some of these questions have been answered already in scholarly books, and I look forward to compiling their answers. Perhaps some questions will require some digging. In any case, I find their interest, pursuit, and identity to be intriguing.
Maybe for Christmas there are those who are seeking Him. I don't know who or what the wise men thought they were going to see when they arrived. But they kept searching. They were looking for something special, and it likely didn't fit their ideas about how a king would arrive, but they knew it was worth going after, and worth preserving, judging by their route home. I know God doesn't always fit with how or what I think about Him, but I know that He is faithful to reveal what I need to know about Him if I search for Him. If I study the signs I am to look for and pursue Him, I know He will be there.
So, as I jump into the stories of Moses and the Magi, I suspect a common theme will be "not all who wander are lost." I'm not yet certain what I am supposed to be getting out of this study - particularly considering I'm making it up as I go - but, I'm excited to learn more about who God is. So, if you're searching - keep going, but remember that He doesn't always show up the way we think He might or should....more on that next Monday.