Journey of the Wisemen by Trijsten Leach

During my childhood, Nana had a heartwarming tradition. Once the house was decorated for Christmas and the nativity scene was up, she would playfully move the wise men (Magi) around the house until Christmas Day, when they would be at the manger. Although this is a sweet memory to look back on, it makes me wonder, outside of the nostalgia, what is it God wants us to see in the Magi’s journey?

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the East came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)

The Magi’s journey, much like my Nana’s tradition, mirrors the spiritual journey of all believers—the path to Christ. Just as the Magi set out to follow a star on a quest to find the newborn King, our spiritual journey had a beginning. It may have started with curiosity or a desire for purpose; either way, that spark of light caught our attention. The Magi moving through the house reminds us that the search for God begins from a distance, but it is a journey worth undertaking.

The journey of the Magi was not straightforward; it involved challenges and moments of uncertainty. Just like our own spiritual journeys are often marked by twists and turns, it requires patience and faith to persevere, trusting God to guide us along the way, just as the star guided the Magi. Moving the Magi through the house also reminds us of our need to trust in God’s guidance despite obstacles we encounter.

It is important to note that these were not Jewish men; they were scholars and astrologers from the East, known for their wisdom and study of the heavens. They observed a new star rising in the night sky, a celestial sign of unparalleled significance. This star was the harbinger of hope, beckoning them to seek the newborn King. When the Magi finally reached Jesus, they bowed and worshiped Him, offering gifts to the Christ child. This is it. This is what all the travel, perseverance, and dedication had been for, reaching Jesus. In our own spiritual journey, the destination is encountering Christ. It is there where we find true meaning and fulfillment. And when we arrive at our destination, at the feet of Jesus, like the Magi, we offer our lives in worship and surrender to the Savior.

Nana’s tradition of moving the Magi now makes me think of how our path to Christ is transformative. Each step towards Him changes us, making us more like Him in the process. It’s a reminder that we are shaped and molded by our pursuit of Jesus. The Magi’s journey speaks to us of patience, worship, and surrender, not based on our culture or upbringing. No, it is based on our seeking.

Father, as we think of our Christmas traditions and ponder the Magi, remind us of the importance of seeking, being guided, and following the path. Teach us patience, Lord, and help us to trust You when we face obstacles along the way. And as we travel with You, each day growing closer to You, help us to surrender to worship. During this Christmas season, Thank You for the sweet memories and all the ways You speak to your children. In Jesus’ name, amen.