Today we took down a star that hangs from the peak of our maple sugar house. It is always tough to see another Christmas season come to an end. I was particularly reflecting on the Magi. It must have been hard to have their time of worship and wonder come to a close. We have all perhaps been to gatherings or conferences where the atmosphere of heaven was in our midst and you just wanted to stay and have it go on. Peter experienced it on the Mount of Transfiguration with this same Babe turned to Man three decades later. “My Lord, it is beautiful for us that we should be here, and if you wish, we will make here three booths . . .” This life however is one of change, moving on, a pilgrimage into the unknown so the Magi left “by another road,” Mary and Joseph “fled to Egypt” and the disciples “picked up from Galilee.”
Thankfully, God has given us the Sabbath as a reminder there will be rest and there will be communion with God face to face and we won’t have to leave. Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the Magi and use the time we do have. These precious 24 hours that God has ordained we should stop and use them to worship and give; maybe give someone a card or send a letter, bake some cookies – show some love for God and man.
When the magi left I wonder what they discussed on the long journey home? One topic I would have brought up is why no one from Jerusalem came with them to worship a child born “The King who shall shepherd my people Israel.” I marvel that when these foreigners show up Herod “was troubled and ALL Jerusalem with him.” And yet, there’s no record that even one followed the Magi to Bethlehem even though the very question being asked was “where would the Messiah be born?” I can understand Herod staying behind as he had evil in mind but what about all the others in Jerusalem? Perhaps some thought of going but something on their “To Do” list just seemed more important.
I hope I would have gone but I also know my nature. I am convinced that it is things like keeping the feasts or the Sabbath with the right spirit that counteracts our own nature. Putting God and His ways first puts something in us and lines us up with God. It softens our “busy” natures. I am trusting God that by seeking His day now, I will be ready and will notice the truly important events and take action later in life. My heart response to the Magi is “I’m with you.” I’m following to Bethlehem; let us worship Him together this Sabbath!