Where’s that Star?

A sermon based on Matthew 2: 1-12

It always takes me aback to hear that Herod was among the first to recognize the birth of our Savior.  There was so much evil darkness in his rule, and yet the light shone even there.  It didn’t change his heart, but he also couldn’t un-know what he knew. 

In their own way, the magi walked in darkness too — literally, they were walking in darkness for the most important leg of their journey. 

You see, the way I understand it, one of them saw a star, they did their readings, decided to travel to Jerusalem since it was the right general direction and OBVIOUSLY the king would be born in the capital city, and they set out with the caravans off to Israel.  When do you think caravans traveled?  Daytime, right?  So suddenly they weren’t following their star, they were following the working end of the camel in front of them.  And they got lost.

Does this ever happen to you in your journey to and with Jesus?  One minute you’re sure you know just what God wants from you and the next minute you’re set for Jerusalem instead of Bethlehem and totally off track.

So they get to Jerusalem and realize they’ve gone astray when King Herod’s gate guards look at them like they’ve lost their marbles asking about a baby and a new king, etc, etc.  And who sets them straight?  As I mentioned before, in the midst of his blackness and deceit, Herod actually sees the light that is truth and sends the magi on the road to Bethlehem. 

But here’s the important difference.  This time they don’t follow a caravan.  Somehow they find themselves outside on a dark night – except it is not so dark after all.  The light of the star that set them on their journey was there. 

In the midst of our own darkness it is just about impossible to see the silver lining, or the “blessing” in the sorrow and the pain, but how many times have you heard someone say that this illness or that injury was a real eye opener.  It will be a wonderful world when we never get lost again, but in the meantime, it is a special kind of God that sends a star in the dark night of our pain to guide us. 

To watch the full sermon, click here.