For the past couple of years, our family has begun a new Advent tradition. We have been reading through the Jotham’s Journey series by Arnold Ytreeide. This year’s advent reading is titled Ishtar’s Odyssey, and it centers around the story of the Wise Men. (No spoilers please, we’re still at the beginning!)
The story of the Wise Men is slightly odd, isn’t it? Little is known about them, and they show up only in one part of Scripture. They followed a mysterious star and found the Savior. How did that happen? We don’t know how many of them there were, their background, or even their origin, other than that they came from the East.
Still, they hold an important place in the Christmas narrative. After all, what’s a Christmas play without the Wise Men? They show up in nativity scenes, in Christmas Scripture readings, and on Christmas cards. They even have their own Christmas song!
Although little is known of these men, Matthew does tell us that they were wise. By this, we can assume that they were educated and knowledgeable. Judging by the gifts they brought Jesus, as well as by tradition, we can guess that they were also very wealthy. This makes it all the more intriguing that men of this caliber would travel untold miles to bestow riches upon an infant.
And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew 2: 11 ESV
We can learn so much from the Wise Men’s example. The Savior was so important to them, that showing Him adoration was the ultimate object of their desire.
The definition of Adore is:
- to regard with the utmost esteem, love, and respect; honor.
- to pay divine honor to; worship
- to like or admire very much:
The Wise Men have much to teach us about the act of adoration. Here are a few of the lessons that stand out to me:
- Adoration is the most important thing. The Wise Men understood the importance of the Savior, and they were willing to humble themselves, bowing down before an infant King in order to show their adoration.
- It was worth the risk. What did they risk? We may never know the extent of it, since little is written about them in Scripture. However, we do know that they took a potentially dangerous journey with an unknown destination. There was no GPS, only a star. They were following on sheer faith. They even had to go through mad King Herod to reach Jesus.
- Adoration cost them something. They didn’t flippantly congratulate the parents on the birth of their new child. Instead, they practically hunted them down in order to adore their baby. And when they found Jesus, they presented Him with costly gifts. These gifts were not random; they had Spiritual significance. They were specifically chosen and carefully carried over a long distance to be presented to their King.
Maybe we should all be a little more like the Wise Men this Christmas, taking time to adore our Savior.
Pause: Take a deep breath and prepare your mind and body to be still. Read and reflect on the Wise Men’s story in Matthew 2 : 1-12
Renew: When is the last time that you can remember taking time to adore the Savior? What were you doing? Praying? Singing? Reading the Bible? How do you most often show your adoration for the Lord?
Next: As we enter the Advent season, think about ways that you want to offer adoration to Christ: maybe prioritizing time to pray or sing as a family, setting aside time for personal Worship at home or in the car, or simply shifting your perspective on the Christmas season. Whatever it is that you choose to do, do it with joy!
May we too come to adore Him!
Pause, Renew, Next!