The Day of Hope
On this, the twelfth day of Christmas, many of us have already taken down our Christmas decorations, our lives are back to the normal routine, and Christmas is over except for remnants of leftovers in the fridge and new gifts in our house. But today marks a unique day reminding us that Christmas is not over. Today we remember the wise ones who showed up to honor and give gifts to Jesus from far away countries. The ones who traveled years to see a King they had been studying about and yearned to see. Their day has just arrived.
We don’t know much about the wise people except that they traveled from another country for probably two years, and they brought three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Everything else about them is a mystery. But what intrigues me the most about these wise people is their dedication. Approximately two years with one goal in mind, one plan to enact, one vision and never getting sidetracked to see the king they had studied and followed a star to see.
I wonder what the wise people wanted to see when they arrived at the star. After two years of travel, I can only imagine what dreams, hopes, and stories they had made up about the king they had been following. Did they think he would be in a palace, which is why they went to see Herod, only to be surprised that Jesus was found in ordinary home? Did they think he would be an adult, instead finding a toddler? Did they hope that Jesus would save them too? Did they dream about what he would look like, who his parents were or how smart he might be? Or were their dreams something completely different.
There have been seasons in my life where it felt like I was on a long journey looking, searching and wondering where God is in my life. I would imagine, dream and hope for the ways God might show himself to me. I always come back to the wise men (and probably women) who traveled for years before they saw Jesus. And I bet it all went away when they bowed before Jesus with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They believed through the hot days on the road. They trusted when doubts and fears worked their way in. They followed when the way seemed difficult.
It is the same as our faith. We all have expectations, hopes and dreams about what the next year might look like. We can’t help but think about what this year will bring and hope that the year will include more positive experiences and fewer hardships. Whatever this year looks like for you, my prayer for you is that you will see signs of Jesus and know that you are always in the presence of God no matter how far you feel from Jesus.