FAITH: Robert’s Ramblings – Rejoice! He has come for us

“In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”  When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 

When they had heard the king, they set out. There, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 

On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother, and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

— Matthew 2: 1-11                                                                                                                                

When I was a child, I loved this Christmas story: Wise men from the East bringing birthday gifts to the Christ child. What child does not love birthday gifts? 

As I have grown, I have come to understand a deeper meaning which warms my heart.  These Magi, these scholars from the distant East came to “pay homage” to the Christ-child. 

The dictionary defines homage as “a formal public acknowledgment of allegiance.” These scholars from a distant, non-Jewish country had come to pay allegiance to Jesus, the Messiah. The Magi were not by birth part of God’s chosen people, yet they came to pay homage! 

In my heart, I understand this to mean that these Magi knew and understood that the Christ child had come for everyone — not just the Jewish people. They knew that the Messiah had come for THEM! They knew that Jesus had come for ME — That the Christ had come for YOU!

In this blessed season, may you feel the warmth of knowing that Christ came for you, for me, and for everyone. That gift from God from two millennia ago is current with each of us today.

Bob Beck is a former layleader of Ebbert Methodist Church and a columnist for The Chronicle. 



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