Monday, December 8, 2014

The Starring Role

It is the Christmas season and I wanted to do something special with the posts on the blog. I would like to take the next two posts and look at the birth of Christ from a few very different points of view. I have been out an about in the "Christmas rush" and it is really hitting me just how important that it is this year to look back at the reason for the season.
"Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." ~Matthew 2:1-2

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy." ~Matthew 2:9-10

We are all very familiar with the story of Christmas. We know all about the star, and the baby in the manger. We know all about the angels in the heavens, and the shepherd in the fields with there flocks by night. But if we take the time to see the story through the eyes of everyone that was involved, there are so many things that we can learn, and be reminded of that can change our season as well as our new year ahead.

The first view point that I wanted to look at the first Christmas with would be that of the wise men.

I love this story because I can see these guys one night, studying the stars, and seeing one that they were not certain about. This bothered them. They could not walk away from this. It agitated them to point of action. They could not look around this one… They had to see this thing through; until they had the answers they wanted to have.

They saw a star. Big deal right? I mean you are studying stars, so isn’t that what you want to see?

Well, if you were a wise man from the east it was a big deal, because wise men got the name wise men because they studied more than just the menu at Red Lobster.( Although, that is pretty impressive)
These men had studied the Bible, and the knew of a prophecy that was foretold, by Daniel about the King of the Jews being born about the time of the star sighting. They also knew that in the book of numbers, it was said that the star of Jacob would rise.

They said, "We have seen his star…"

Among the ancients, the appearance of a star or comet was regarded as an omen of some remarkable event. Many such appearances are recorded by the Roman historians at the birth or death of distinguished men. They say that at the death of Julius Caesar, a comet appeared in the heavens, and shone seven days. 

These wise men also considered this as an evidence that the long-expected Prince was born. It is possible that they had been led to this belief by the pbiblical prophecy of Balaam.

  "I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth." ~Numbers 24:17

The wise men came on a very important mission. They had heard of the King that would be found beneath this star, and wanted to show honor to him. We do not know how many wise men there were and the timing of their arrival varies upon which live nativity re-enactment that you see,but we do know that they carried three gifts. I can imagine that they often checked there cargo on that long journey to make sure that everything was safe and undisturbed.At every jostle and shake of there camels, running a protective hand over the saddle bag, or the pouch to make sure that the treasure was still there.

They had seen his star, and wanted to come meet and honor this new King. It was foretold in the book of numbers that the star of Jacob would rise, and we read in many passages of scripture that there was a GLORIOUS LIGHT that shined round about the shepherds on the night of Christ’s birth. That light could have been the star that the wise men saw, I do not know, but I do know that they saw a star, and they went in search of a king.

I hurt for unsaved people this time of year. I mean all the Christmas season is for them is a day off of work, and buying a present that someone they love will probably hate. The advertisements this time of year ask for donations to share "Hope" but really, their idea of hope and what people truly need are two different things. Hope to them is just a gift to make their physical life better for the moment.

Stores have swapped the word Christmas with the word Holiday. Holiday trees, Holiday sales, and Holiday deals are now what it seems to be about with the use of the phrase "Season’s greetings" and "Season gatherings", the real reason seems hard to see.

The world tries so hard to stop people from looking for the King and yet I  say that the world is still secretly looking for answers. If you know the Christ, than you truly know the answer. Knowing Christ and knowing about Christ are two different things, so I say that if you truly know Christ personally, then you know He provides the answer that the world is looking for.

The world pushes God away, and yet they are pushing away the very one they are looking for.
If you know the King, then you, like it or not, full fill the role of the star.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." ~Matthew 5:16

We have a reason to shine!!!
We know where to direct people!!!
We have the answer!!!
Where is the King? Let me tell you!!!

As those who have the answer, it is our job to help those who are looking for the King, find the king they are looking for.

The Bible says that we are like stars and we have a tremendous privilege of being now able to shine.

"And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever." ~ Daniel 12:3

18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble." ~ Proverbs 4:18-19

You know if you live in the city and you go outside at night, with all the distractions and the lights, it can be very hard to see the stars at night but no matter how dimming the other distractions can be, you can always see the North star. It just shines so clear, constant, and bright.

Making a stand for God is never, and will never be easy when you are alone, but shining for God is what you are able to do.

The Light shows those in darkness that there is more available than the darkness.

It does get discouraging and sad to see so much hurt and emptiness in the church just as well as outside of the church and the stark reality of it is, people are lost, empty and desperately searching. The world, and there wise men are looking. They cannot identify Him and they confuse Him for another person, item, high or emotional state of peace. We know His name is Emmanuel, and we know that He is the King that they seek.

Have you allowed Him to make you bright and clear in your purpose and message?
Jesus quoted a passage from Isaiah and it is what the world is seeking to find in all of it's distractions. He came to bring the answer.
 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised," ~Luke 4:18

People are looking, and we have the ability to direct.

Climbing with you,

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