“Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.” Matthew 2:7-9
When I lived in Haiti and left my apartment in Petionville to go out into the countryside to visit the Lutheran Churches and Schools, I often thought about the journey of the Magi. They had a star to guide them; not OnStar, a star from God proclaiming that the Savior of the world had come down in Bethlehem. Finding the children in the attached photo who attend the Lutheran School in Saltedere was a memorable task. No map, no road markers, no GPS but only another Haitian with me who had been this way before; or so I had been told. We drove north up Mont Cabrits (Goat Mountain) then to Mireabalas, Hinche, Thomassique and finally to Saltedere. We drove through many bridgeless streams and always got stuck in the mud at least once as the Haitian driver would cautiously ease our truck into the muddy river ruts like an old man lowering himself into a tub of hot water rather than charge into the mire and rely upon the momentum and four-wheel drive to pull us through.
The Magi found the promised King who had come to earth for them, you, me and the children who live throughout His creation. May you find a moment to ponder their journey to find Him, your journey to find Him and the importance of sharing the message of Salvation with ears that have not heard the true message of Christmas. I close this devotion with the words from the hymn ‘As with Gladness Men of Old’ which were written by William C. Dix in 1860.
“As with gladness men of old did the guiding star behold; as with joy they hailed its light, leading onward, beaming bright, so, most gracious Lord, may we evermore be led by Thee! As with joyful steps they sped, Savior, to Thy lowly bed, there to bend the knee before Thee whom heaven and earth adore, so may we with willing feet ever seek Thy mercy-seat! As they offered gifts most rare at Thy cradle, rude and bare, so may we with holy joy, pure and free from sin's alloy, all our costliest treasures bring, Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King! Holy Jesus, every day keep us in the narrow way; and when earthly things are past, bring our ransomed souls at last where they need no star to guide, where no clouds Thy glory hide. In the heavenly country bright need they no created light; Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown, Thou its Sun which goes not down. There forever may we sing Alleluias to our King!”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay