Looking for a Star, Matthew 2:1-12 (Day 7)
“Earl …., pay attention!” I heard that a lot when I was in elementary school. And it was not without warrant. Staying focused on the task at hand was a challenge for me. Actually my attention had been captured, ……. just not on what my teachers were trying to get me to focus on.
The first definition of attention is the act or state of applying your mind to something. This is amazingly illustrated in the story of the Magi. This group of scholars/astrologers, were not Jews, they were Gentiles. They were from somewhere in the East, perhaps Parthia, Arabia or most likely Babylon. But a new star had risen in the sky and it captured their imagination. What was it? What did it mean? And why were these Gentiles interested in a star indicating the birth of a Jewish king? When Isaiah spoke these words some 700 years before Jesus was born, was He speaking of these Gentile Magi?
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising…… “A multitude of camels will cover you, The young camels of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba will come; They will bring gold and frankincense, And will bear good news of the praises of the LORD.”
They not only paid attention to the wonders they saw in the sky but when they were warned in a dream, they returned home a different way, paying attention to the instruction of God.
The Christmas season can be such a hectic time. Our festive celebrations, our family gatherings and all the fun of the days can cause us to focus on many different and good things. Don’t feel guilty about your celebrations. But let me encourage you to find time to “pay attention” to star of Christmas. Like the Magi, reflect on Jesus. Take time to read the Advent prophesies and ponder their meaning. Let them bring you to his feet and offer yourselves to him.