Mat. 2:1-11 – Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: 6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'” 7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

This is a great opportunity to read this as a story (which it is of course!) Put yourself there, imagine being with the Magi on their journey; their meeting with Herod and then their final arrival at the stable. What do you think or feel about Herod’s trickery? (This is not the same Herod who in the time of Christ beheaded John the Baptist and sent Christ to be crucified, but of the same line. The first Herod reigned over all of Judea, but the Herod of Christ’s time only ruled over Galilee).

The Magi quote Micah 5:2 as they describe to Herod why they’ve come to Judea. Yet they were not Jews. They were Gentiles, pagans who had a deep hunger for a Messiah. They traveled far, and the first thing they do in arriving in Bethlehem – was to bow down in worship.

“They rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Why is that? What did they find of meaning to them? Stay a moment in that joy – give thanks for the Epiphany that opened your eyes to see Christ, your Savior – and let that joy wash over you once again.

Read the rest of the story in Matthew 2. The Magi were warned in a dream not to go back the way they came, and then Joseph was also warned to leave as soon as possible. Are we that attentive to listening to God?

There are so many ways God revealed Himself in this story! a Star, a king, a Scripture, a Babe, even a dream!

Lectio Quote

Stars cross the sky, wise men journey from pagan lands, earth receives its savior in a cave. Let there be no one without a gift to offer, no one without gratitude as we celebrate the salvation of the world, the birthday of the human race, Now it is no longer, “dust you are and to dust you shall return,” but “you are joined to heaven and into heaven shall you be taken up.     Basil the Great (AD 330-379)

You can go through the same steps that we use for Lectio Divina for Scripture, or simply take some time and read this quote slowly and seek The Spirit’s help to discern how this passage might bring new understanding to how God reveals Himself to us.