For all practical purposes, Christmas is over. I managed to get the cookies baked (thank you daughters) and the gifts bought (thank you Amazon.com). The tree that was decorated now needs to come down.
Boxes are scattered around: usual for after-Christmas. It is back to normal for most people. During this time, when my mind is still on the Christmas story, I think of the wise men.
Christmas is winding down for us, but it was only starting for them. I wonder how long they observed the strange new star before deciding to set out on their journey? Why did they think the star would lead them to a “place”? This star had to be different from the ones we see in the sky every clear night.
Did the wise men have a club where they gathered and made decisions, such as who would make the trip and who would stay home? Or were there only three willing to go on a potential wild-goose-chase? These men were not Jewish. They may not have known about the promised messiah. So what was it about the star that drew them?
After months of travel, as improbable as it seems, the star stopped over the temporary home of a simple blue collar worker. No one special. Inside the weary travelers found the babe and his mother. The wise men fell to their feet. They offered gifts. What was it about this baby that amazed these men?
So the week after Christmas I ponder the question what made the birth of a baby so special two thousand years ago that wise men went seeking to find such a child? What makes Christmas special today?
December 25th is over, but the babe is still here. The wonder lives on. Be amazed by God’s grace this week as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and prepare for the gift of a new year.