As a city kid, growing up in a suburb outside of Chicago, many of my weekends would be spent in the neighboring state of Wisconsin. This is where my mom was raised and where her parents still resided. So on weekends we would make the three and a half hour drive to go visit them.
My dad’s parents also owned a fourteen acre parcel of property there in Wisconsin where we stayed at for these weekend visits. We always looked forward with anticipation to our time there because it gave us “city kids” (who at home didn’t even have a back yard), great freedom to run, play and explore without all the worries of city life.
As a middle school aged child, I remember one of super fun things us kids would do for self entertainment. We would join in with cousins to play this amplified game of hide and seek. In our eyes it was a fun and more “mature” version of the kiddie game.
Our “older” version of hide and seek would be played like this: half of us would go hide in a designated area of the property. And the other half, “the seekers” would ride around on some Honda 50’s my grandparents owned, seeking out the hidden players. This would provide hours of fun and entertainment Sounds like hoot right? It truly was!
As the Christmas season is upon us and as I was thinking back on these fun childhood memories, it reminded me of the account of the Wise Men who were “seekers” of the baby Jesus. The actual account is found in Matthew the second chapter.
The wise Men had who had come from the east to Jerusalem, were inquiring about the baby that was born, “King of the Jews.” Hearing his, King Herod summoned them (for his own devious reasons) to find this baby King and report back to him. So the Wise Men followed the star in the east that led them to the place where the baby lay. The bible says, when they found him they fell down and worshiped him and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And that evening (in a dream) they were warned of King Herod’s evil plan to have baby Jesus killed so they decided not to return to Herod but to go home to their own country a different way.
As I re-read this account of the Wise Men, I ask myself what can I take away from their story in my pursuit of the Christ of Christmas and the meaning and application for my own life.
- First of all they were “seekers” of Him. The bible tells us to seek ye first the kingdom of God and all his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you as well. So during this season with so much distraction on decorating, shopping, parties and programs God wants us to continually seek him and put him first and foremost in our lives. When the world tries to drown him out in the mayhem of business, we must continually seek to be in his presence.
- Secondly, when the wise men found the baby, they fell down and worshiped him and presented him with their finest gifts. This reminds me that we are to daily offer our lives to God as a spiritual act of worship to him. To be a living sacrifice to his cause and his purpose for our lives. It is a matter of dying to self so that we can be made alive in him. A life fully committed to him is the best act of worship we can give.
- And then finally being warned in a dream the Wise Men departed a different way. The walked in obedience and did as the Lord had instructed and God expects the same obedience from us. He wants us to be in tune with him, to seek his heart and desires for us, and to walk in his will for our lives.
This is my prayer for you and well as me me this Christmas season: Father God I pray that we would truly seek YOU first and foremost in all things. That you would help us keep your eyes from everything else that tries to distract us from the true beauty and meaning of this Christmas season. That we would seek fulfillment not in presents or other things, but the presence of the Savior. May we seek to build relationships that are rich in you. And may all the other distractions of the seasons fade into the light of YOUR presence, that we might discover in YOU is the greatest present of all, JESUS our Emmanuel, God with us!