Debbie Salter Goodwin
Magi from the east came . . . to worship him. Matthew 2:1,2
The Magi made the longest trip. They are the ones who receive the award for beginning their journey to see Jesus first. While no one knows exactly where the Magi started from, many connect their origin to Persia because that’s where Nebuchadnezzar asked wise men to interpret his dream. If they came from Persia, they could have traveled close to 800 miles! Add to that the necessity to travel by night to follow the star, and their journey took much longer than our four weeks of Advent!
I’ve often thought about these eastern scientist-astrologers who followed a miraculous star only to find what all scientists look for: the origin of life!
Perhaps we should put a modern-day scientist in our nativity scene, a white-lab coated worshiper with a microscope and telescope to remind us of the enormous truth we too quickly overlook. God brought a group of gentile scientists to Him the way they knew best, through the science and astrology they spent their lives studying.
That gives me hope that God knows how to find the opening into a heart that works the best. He knows the truth that their night sky offers to bring them to their knees. It gives me hope for the cynical, the calculating, the doubters, and the stubborn.
I wish we knew what happened to these faithful travelers after they left Jesus. Did they hear about the one who taught and healed and wondered if it was the same with whom they shared their gifts? Did they keep an open place in their heart and continue to look where God led them for more Truth?
What I do know this story teaches is that we should make our journeys to Christmas as prepared and focused as theirs. We must remember that the journey is just as important as the destination. We should expect our own “guiding star” from God to keep us alert to what He wants us to find this Christmas. More love? More forgiveness? More faith? More wisdom? More hope? God will give us more of anything He knows will make our journey all it needs to be.