In the Stars
24 Dec 2018
One of the Wise Men stared into the night sky, mapping the stars again in his mind as he’d done a thousand times before. In the distance, one seemed to hang brighter than the others. Its playful sparkle beckoned him into the night, onward to whatever lay ahead.
When we picture the nativity scene, we see a few key players.
The central characters: Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
The observers: the Angels, the Shepherds and the Wise Men.
Now, the angels came from the heavens but the Shepherds and Wise Men are also two very separate demographics. Jews and Gentiles.
Up to this point the bible has followed the Jews, as God’s chosen people, but Jesus would later call Jews and Gentiles alike to follow him and be saved.
At first glance, it may seem odd that some of Jesus’ first visitors were scientists from a far-off land but, even in birth, Jesus was levelling the playing field. His life would be a witness and salvation to all.
The Wise Men came to this most prestigious event, but you may notice their invitation came a little differently. If you read the Christmas story, you’ll see that it is filled with angels. An angel appeared to Zechariah, to Mary and to Joseph, while a whole company of Angels appeared to the Shepherds. So why were the Wise Men different?
Well, the other players were all pious Jews. They’d studied the scriptures all their lives and recognised the angels as messengers of the good and mighty God. The Wise Men didn’t have the same background but they were experts in one thing, the stars. God didn’t push his majesty on them in some great and terrifying display, he spoke to them in their language, through the things they knew and loved. He sent them a call they couldn’t refuse because it was written just for them.
On that first Christmas Jesus called everyone: Jews, Gentiles and even the heavens themselves to come and encounter him. Every year, at Christmas, the world responds. Christians and Non-Christians alike gather together to celebrate that day.
As you celebrate with your family and friends, keep an eye out for how God is inviting them.