“Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.” Matthew 4:10
“We three kings of Orient are bearing gifts we traverse afar…” are words we hear and even sing each Christmas season but do we truly get who these guys were and how they came to follow that star? Well, I have a very wise friend who has a doctorate and who has helped me with this one. The wise men were very likely Jewish wise men who were a remnant in Babylon after the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in the 6th century B.C.. She explains “contemporary historians such as Neusner and Gafni provide for us brief references regarding the Babylonian Jews around the time of the birth of Christ. They tell us that there were Jewish rabbis in Babylon who studied the moon during the time of Christ… Wise Men … who believed in a Jewish Messiah, who understood the ancient Jewish prophecies (such as Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22), who were skilled in astronomy and studied the cycles of the moon and the path of the stars, and who were part of a Jewish community somewhere in the East. These Babylonian rabbis were so famous for their skill in astronomy that Rabbi Akiva, the greatest rabbi of the 1st century CE, visited them to get the latest and most accurate predictions for the upcoming Jewish festival dates!” They knew and believed God’s word in Genesis 49:10 and Numbers 24:17; they were looking for the Messiah and the star that marked the spot.This was big time talent combined with big time knowledge of God’s word.
What talents do you have? Fixing things, teaching, leading, selling? Do you also know God’s word well? Will you be watching daily, ready to act when the time is right? The wise men spent their life learning about their God and then used the talent they possessed to honor him. We probably even got our tradition of gift giving from them. How about focusing on giving our talents and time in His word to honor Christ this Christmas? Will you ponder it with me? I think Mary is a great example for us. She lived her life with a pure heart to please her God; then when God needed her she was ready.
It’s not that we live for a “big moment” but that we live each moment BIG unto our Lord. Meditating upon His word and living ready to obey His voice. Let’s pray her famous prayer called the “Magnificat”, Luke 1:46-51, to ready our heart for giving to our King this Christmas.
Prayer: And like Mary said, I will say “My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in You, God my Savior, for You have looked on the humble estate of Your servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is Your name. And Your mercy is for those who fear You from generation to generation. You have shown strength with Your arm; You have scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; You have brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; You have filled the hungry with good things, and the rich You have sent away empty. You have helped Your servant Israel, in remembrance of Your mercy hasYou spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” May I get it like Mary did, that
this season , as is every season. all about You, Lord! Amen.