December 24 – Day 24
Ornament – Star
Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26
The Magi were not hobbyists who just happened upon a star and decided to pursue it. These men had been trained in the school overseen by Daniel, generations before. Their training was not that of simply mapping the stars. They were taught their names, navigations and significance to the story written in the Heavens.
Each one would have delved deeply into prophecies of old and been taught to recognize the signs given, wrapped in light, dangling so they could be seen and searched.
One day, pouring over their charts and maps, a star peeked from from its hiding place in the silky sky. In that moment, their spirits knew, recognized what hung like a promise kept, before them. Pappa met them in their medium.
Yielded vessels embarked on a journey. They followed a star, full and flowing with its meaning, unable to be distracted, detained or deceived from its truth and the full discovery of it.
After our King came cooing, His parents held him in a holy hush until the end of Mary’s purification and the moment of Jesus presentation at the Temple (Luke 2:22-39). At the Temple, Jesus was recognized by Simeon, which melded Joseph and Mary with marvel. Then the prophetess Anna, began to thank God for Him and spread the gospel, the great news of Him, to all awaiting redemption. When Mary and Joseph had completed the law, their act of love, they returned to Nazareth.
As the Magi followed the star, they happened upon Herod. This lower case king asked where to find the capital King who had come. Based on the map of his palace priests, Herod dispatched the Magi to Bethlehem to investigate. But these men, wise and wondered, would not exit the story at an edict, for they were called to follow the star, a confluence of planets carried on a comet.
In the courts of the king they conversed with with men of great stature and immense intellect. From them, they could find no glad tidings of Him. When they saw the star, hovered over His haven, they rejoiced. Their quest for an ancient promise had been quenched, the darkness of those who despaired over His coming, vanquished. Hope held for the hating and hostile.
Though the Magi did not meet Christ, swaddled in a manger, they no less fell before Him cuddled in a crib, hidden at home and called Him King.
The Magi arrived shortly before Joseph was given the dream to move to Egypt. They came laden with gifts and incredible faith, which was the greatest treasure they carried. For to make a journey like theirs, they had to believe they would find what they dedicated years of their lives to look for.
They worshipped Him, for that was the intent of their coming. Their part in this play was not to highlight a crazed king with a swinging scepter and evil intentions. No, their portion was to surrender to the source of joy. They, who traveled from afar, were delivered to find the Joy of the Nations.
At His feet they fell and opened their treasures, offering Him all they had. Wise indeed!
The Magi didn’t just come, they were moved, nobly navigated. The star guided them precisely to the prophesied and a dream warned them to return home a different way. Without such divine and deliberate intervention, the scribes wouldn’t have known where to send them and upon arrival, they would have fallen out of the story and into the plot of a crafty king.
Each step of their ADVENTure whispered, “Look up. Read what is written.” This causes me to consider a star that cries out to us, in our now. In the month of Tevet, in the Tabernacle of “The Sacrifice” a glowing star dwells. It isn’t very bright, but is radically red. This star sings loudly a, word, ‘tiqvah’ Which comes from the same root as the scarlet cord that hung from Rahab’s window. Its name, the fullness of its name means HOPE.
In the mosaic of the Magi, mankind looked down. Christ came to bring hope to a world that looked the wrong way. His coming reckoned all of mankind with reality of rejoicing. That is the magic of the Magi.
A child is born. A son is given. The Hebrew word for “given” is ‘nathan’ which is spelled nun-tav-nun. The same backwards or forwards. Beginning to end.
A miracle given, sent through a choice, towards another miracle. What He grants, we can give, returning what we receive, multiplied.
There is a Hebrew phrase ‘Nathan takem’ and means “given to you or for you.” For us.
‘Givor’ is an ancient Akkadian word used militarily. A ‘givor’ is one who lays down his life to defend. Translated for us, it is the God who defeats all other gods we allow into our lives. In Hebrew this word is spelled gimmel-beth-resh. The gimmel represents loving kindness, the beth represents the heart and resh represents a turning or change in direction.
The given, a Savior, who laid His life in a cradle, in order to enter our every battle and change or turn our direction toward victory. What a gift!
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