2 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star in the east[b] and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him, 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah[c] was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet:
6 ‘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[d] my people Israel.’ ”
7 Then Herod secretly called for the magi[e] and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then 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.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out, and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen in the east,[f] until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped,[g] they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 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. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
Most of us have some special interest in our lives. For three gift-bearing travelers from the Orient, (the Magi, or wise men, or astrologers) it seems that images in the night sky captured their attention, to the point that they would journey out to see where that special star led. Thinking that it was a heavenly sign of a royal birth, they first arrived in the capital city of the region where it cast its light. Then, after inquiring with the local rulers and theologians, they extended their trip to Bethlehem. And following that star, they were guided to the Christ child. With the first phase of their journey complete, they offered their gifts in an act of worship. And then, when their part in the holy drama was complete, in a nighttime dream, God adjusted their path back home.
Let me be attentive to Your leadership at night, dear God, as what You paint in the skies or whisper in my dreams may guide my feet in the day that follows. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.