How Christmas began, 9

WE HAVE COME TO WORSHIP THE STAR KING (Mt. 2:1-12)

We were fascinated by the stars and spent our lives studying them. We believed that every important event in history had its leading star. We also believed that the Gods were guiding these stars. Most of the stars were not visible to naked human eyes. We were able with mirrors to penetrate deeper into the galaxy of innumerable stars. We observed that some of the more distant stars would travel closer to the earth and display a greater brightness. Over the years, we got to know quite a few stars. In fact, we were prepared to travel anywhere in the world by just following the stars. We were professional students and traveled in groups to discourage bandits and marauders. That was how we made our living and we were handsomely paid for our service. We were advisors to kings and queens. We were highly regarded and even called “Magi” or “Great Ones.”

One night, a new star appeared and some of our Jewish captives believed that it pointed to their Messianic King. The star began to travel toward the Jewish homeland and we decided to form a small caravan and follow it. We could only observe the star by night and that required a substantial preparation for a lengthy journey. In addition to an adequate supply, we traveled with bodyguards, ladies in waiting and our servants. On this occasion, we traveled in the company of royalties that were in search of the King of Heaven. We were a small impressive force traveling under the flag of truce. We had no idea how long this journey would be, except that it would end somewhere in Judea. The appearance of the star suggested that the King of the Jews was already born. We hoped to catch up with the Baby King before He grew into manhood. We, too, had come to believe that He would play a major role in bringing peace to our hostile world. We also wanted to be among the first to pay tribute and homage to the King of the Jews. The star led us to belief that He was the Son of the Gods and according to Hebrew tradition, He would be mightier than Moses that humbled mighty Egypt. We were on a mission of peace and were prepared to welcome the He King of the Jews that one day would rule the world.

After several months, we lost sight of the star and ended up in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jews. Our arrival was not exactly inconspicuous, but our mission to find the newly born King of the Jews caused unusual curiosity. These people acted as if nothing had happened. Their wise men knew nothing about a star or a baby king. Their present King Herod was all ears and welcomed us into his court. We were unaware of the reason that he was so eager to learn when the star appeared and where the King of the Jews was to be born. The king consulted the religious leaders and they informed him that Bethlehem was the likely place of the Jewish King’s birth. It had something to do with being related to their Great King David. Herod seemed overly friendly when he sent us off to find the Baby King and bring him news back so he too could celebrate His arrival. All that mattered to us was that we were pointed in the direction of Bethlehem and when we left the city of Jerusalem, the star appeared again. We were overjoyed and did not wonder why the star hid from view in Jerusalem. We were also simple minded enough to believe Herod, and promised to comply with his wishes. We did not suspect the King of foul play.

With Jerusalem behind us, we had no problem following the star to the place where the family of the Baby King had settled. The place where the family stayed was ill prepared to receive all of us. Our servants made arrangement to meet outdoors. The parents were surprised; nevertheless, allowed us to bow down and worship the “Baby King.” We had not come empty handed but brought gifts that we in the past gave to kings. These were gold, incense and myrrh. Our generosity was greatly appreciated. The people were friendly and happy. It was the most peaceful town we had been in on our long journey. We intended to stay several days and learn more about the newly born King before we returned to King Herod. But that night, several of us had horrifying dreams warning us not to return to Herod because he meant to harm the “Child” and with it all the baby boys in the area. We obeyed our dreams and pretended to go to Jerusalem. When Bethlehem was out of sight, our caravan changed direction and as fast as we could, we left Herod’s territory. We should have been suspicious to begin with when Herod looked surprised by our inquiry. We had assumed that one of his sons was to be the future great one. He appeared a bit foxy when he tried to talk to us in private about learning more concerning the King of the Jews. How could we have known that he was not a Jew and that he plotted to wipe out any claimants to the throne of the Great King David? Rumors did reach us that Herod was enraged by our failure to show up at his court. He forthwith, sent his soldiers and instructed them to kill every male child under the age of two. We also learned that the Holy Family and their Son were able to leave Bethlehem before the death squad arrived. Nevertheless, so many little boys had to die to save the “One.”

The cry of these mothers had reached our home country long before we returned. How could one be so brutal and cruel to kill something so helpless and so good? We had no conception that things would turn out the way they did. We were blessed in meeting the Savior of the world and thankful that we were able to supply for some of their needs. But we wondered if we could have avoided the atrocity of Herod? If we had been more careful in following the star, we would not have stopped in Jerusalem and aroused Herod’s evil intentions. And when we reached Jerusalem, we could have been more discrete in our inquiry. We were so concern with finding the Christ that we did not envision any harmful consequences. We assumed that everyone was anxious to find and worship the “King of Kings” that could bring us lasting peace. What good is peace to dead children and to crying mothers? How wise were we in discovering a star that would cause more heartaches and hostility?