“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, in the time of King Herod, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the one who is born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” …. After listening to the king they left, and once again the star they saw when it rose led them until it stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star they shouted joyfully. As they came into the house and saw the child with Mary his mother, they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their treasure boxes and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11).
The characters of the Christmas story are fascinating. There is much we don’t know about the ones known as magi or wise men, but what we do know is plenty interesting. They seem to be men who came from another country, who recognized something different in the sky and understood it as a divine sign.
And what did they do? Without knowing where they were going or what to expect, but they packed up and started what was probably a long journey, taking gifts with them, too.
I’ve heard this story plenty of times before, but what stood out to me this week is their faith. They didn’t insist on knowing all the details before they decided to move forward and started on their way. And when they found Jesus, they didn’t sit around waiting for the child to grow up and prove himself; they acknowledged him as worthy of honor, and their gifts reflected it.
As I think of the wise men this year, I am drawn to their faith and action, to their decision that while they didn’t know everything, they knew enough to take the next right step. That’s a pretty good path to walk.