In more than three decades of my Christian life, I have been blest by 2 types of Daily devos'
(matter not exceeding 500 words) in universal Christian literature. Not only those Devos'
which have a different theme everyday but also the ones which revolve around a certain
theme over a period of time, say a fortnight, have richly edified me. In fact, both
styles have their own inherent advantages. If the former style caters to the varying
spiritual needs of a christian from day-to-day, the latter aims 'to ground'
a child of God in a certain subject in order he derives the full benefits of the
deep insightful study of a certain topic, spread over a fixed span of time.
In my Daily devo page, I have consciously tried to go in for 'a blend of both the
styles' whereby within a constant theme, I would be aiming to focus on different
facets of it which admittedly is a closer imitation of the 'Constant theme' style
than the 'Varying topics' one.
As the month of December coincides with the Christmas season, in this month I intend to
dwell exclusively on all the topics revolving around Christmas using the visit of the
Wise man described in Matthew 2 as the base.
Let me wish you a happy and an edifying read… oh yes-MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF US!
The long journey and ‘the perseverance factor’
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time
of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem -
Keeping the reconciliation of an apparent contrast in two Gospels in suspense
(refer yesterday’s meditation), just for a little while, I now intend to look at the visit
of the Wise men, verse by verse right from the beginning in Matthew’s Gospel before coming
to the unraveling of the stated ‘mystery’ in a logical sequence.
The Magi were ‘foreigners from the east’ in the Land of Israel. So from where could they
have come? Biblical scholars believe that, in all probability that they may have come from
the historical Babylon, which lay to the east of Israel ( refer Map XVII of the OT Maps section
of this site). They base their conclusions on the fact that Prophet Daniel residing in
Babylon during the Exile (refer Map XXIII of the OT Maps section of this site) as a prominent
personality in the affairs of the Said State had foretold the ‘arrival of the Anointed one, the Ruler’
in his book (Daniel 9:24-25)
and his Book even after his death had always been accessible to the
Babylonian scholars-the deep thinking, philosophers’ cum astrologers (Wisemen). Quite likely then
that on the basis of the prophecies recorded therein, the Wisemen were eagerly awaiting the arrival
of ‘the Anointed one, the Ruler’. No wonder, on seeing a special ‘Star’ two years prior to their
visit to Israel
(Matt 2:16 NLV), they excitedly set sail in their ‘desert ships’ (camels)
to the place of his birth to worship him
(Matt 2:2). Did they start immediately, on seeing the
Star? NO! For it doesn’t take 2 years even on camel backs to travel the distance, from Babylon to
Israel, though, they are separated by hundreds of miles. Again Biblical Scholars state that their
journey may have begun only after they had held several parleys amongst themselves on matters
such as the logistical requirements of their trip, the gifts
(Matt 2:9) to be taken to the
‘new born King’, security from desert pirates, the weather conditions etc.
Having made all the necessary arrangements, that these Wise men from the East (Babylon)
eventually traveled hundreds of weary miles in their camel backs (Note:no access to modern
means of transport, in those days) to see and worship the Christ-child, speaks volumes about
their ‘perseverance’ to worship the ‘the Anointed one, the Ruler’.
Doesn’t it hold a lesson for us? How often, a simple drizzle’ puts us off from a Church service?
This Christmas season, let’s resolve to exhibit the perseverance, the Wise men exhibited when
it comes to ‘worshipping and serving Him…The Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords’.
Father, we confess our slackness many a time in many areas’ of our spiritual life.
Enable us to seek Thy will and follow it diligently in our lives, at all times. In Jesus’ name. Amen