The story of the three wise men. I know, it’s not Christmas. But I can just relate to this story right now. I’m not going verse by verse, just want to share a little about how I can relate to this famous story.
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” First of all, we always talk about the three wise men. But we really have no idea how many wise men (“Magi” in the Greek – royal astrologers) there were. It just doesn’t say. It’s probably assumed from the fact that three gifts were given to the Jewish messiah they found.
Second – wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. Gold, frankincense and myrrh were all well-known products of Arabia. Scholars believe it is most likely that they came all the way from Persia, about 1,000 miles journey, to find the newborn King. A very long distance. Rough travel through dangerous territory. If there were only three wise men, they were almost certainly part of a much larger traveling party, just in the interest of physical safety.
And isn’t it at least a little bit interesting that these men from 1000 miles away saw the signs in the stars that the Messiah was to be born. Astrology is strictly forbidden to the Jews, but clearly these men were seeking. While angels were sent to the Jewish shepherds nearby with the Good News, God made sure the same Good News was made known even to the Gentiles. Would this not be the first sign that Jesus was to be a savior for all people, not just the Jews??
So the wise men made a long and dangerous journey to find Jesus. Ever feel like you’re on a long and dangerous journey? I do. The other night I went and gave my testimony to a CR group at a church in La Plata. It may have been the best testimony I’ve given. Maybe it’s a sign I’m making progress on my journey. One of the leaders came up to me afterward and said two things. First thing he said is that he’s surprised I’ve only been sober for two years. For those who don’t know (and most of you probably don’t), my sobriety has many different layers. First is the alcoholism, which I didn’t even admit to until at least a month after I started coming to recovery meetings. A horrible binge alcoholic, I had increasingly begun to drink during the day, even many times starting on my drive into work. Second, gambling. A fantasy sports and online poker addiction that took hours of my time and attention every day. Then there is the video games. Another addiction that is taboo enough for me not to write about it here.
The second thing this guy said to me was – “and you were CRAZY!” I’ve heard his testimony as well, and he was crazy! I guess maybe we are all a little crazy. At what point did you see your sign in the sky to let you know to go seek your savior? Or, what will be that sign in the sky? If you look for it, God will send you a sign. For the shepherds in the fields, their sign was the chorus of angels coming to tell them of good tidings and great joy!! Their journey was short.
For the wise men, God sent the seekers the sign they were looking for. He forbids His people from astrology, but he sent these Gentile astrologers their sign. He met them where they were, and led them on their 1000 mile journey. Their part was obeying.
My sign was having all of my lies exposed, my wrong choices being found out. My sign was finding myself on the brink of losing my family, not even knowing what direction to choose in life. I’m still on my 1000 mile journey. I am making progress, but I am FAR from perfect. Sometimes the going is hard. Sometimes the trip is dangerous. I expect I’m coming up to more dangerous parts of my journey, but we will see.
Writing these messages in the morning is a part of my journey. If you don’t know, I get up at a stupid hour in the morning to read and write these messages. I send this to about 30 people each morning. Some have asked to be included on these. (Some might regret that lol!). Then I clean it up, illustrate it, and post these on a blog every afternoon.
Sometimes I’m sure my writing is better than others. Sometimes I confuse myself. Sometimes I feel like I’m going in circles trying to get to a point. Either way, it is good for me to write. Maybe this is my way of journaling. I hope it is good for you to read as well.
And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. So today I’ll finish with this – I may not know where this journey will take me, I only know that I am on it. I am not the same as I was 2 years ago. I will not be the same 2 years from now. I know that wherever I am going – I am going by ANOTHER WAY. I was in the dark, so much of myself hidden behind walls of fear and shame.
I live in the light now. Writing this is part of me staying in the light. I hope I can be a part of your staying in the light of truth, of you finding another way home, another way to live besides the “us vs them” way of this world.
If you read my writing everyday, thank you for taking the time. And, thanks for letting me share!!
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'” Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.”
Matthew 2:1-12 ESV