Seek Christ Where He Promises You Will Find Him
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.”
When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied,
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
The wise men, or Magi, were unlike any others who rejoiced at the birth of Jesus. They were foreigners whose people spoke a different language and worshiped other gods. They traveled roads for weeks or months to meet this king. And in spite of their earnest seeking, when they arrived in Jerusalem, they discovered they were lost. There was no knowledge of a new king to be found in the royal city.
These wise men knew that the rising of a star meant the birth of a faraway king, but they did not know where to find him. Surely the city of Jewish kings would be a likely place.
Their eventual discovery of where Jesus was came from the Word of God. It was the inspired prophecy of Micah in the fifth chapter of his book that led the Magi to Bethlehem. And so these faithful men trusted the Word of God, left the gleaming palaces of Jerusalem, and went to Bethlehem. There, in the absence of all the impressive marks of earthly royalty, they rejoiced exceedingly (KJV)—because they finally arrived at the home of the Messiah. Their diligent efforts resulted in the remarkable opportunity to pay homage and present their gifts to the child king.
We should seek Jesus, and we know he is worthy of our worship, but how will we find him? What if he isn’t where we expected or hoped he would be? The wise men could not find Jesus in their homeland, the wilderness, or Jerusalem. He was only found in the place where God led them: Bethlehem. In the same way, we are tempted to look for the comfort of Christ in the warm feelings of the perfect Christmas experience, the solitary retreats from our household duties, or the unpredictable affections of family and friends. But Jesus never promised he would reveal himself to us there. Instead, he has blessed us with the promise of his continual presence in his Word, Holy Communion, and the fellowship of believers united by the Holy Spirit. He remains here even when our experience of Christmas falls far short of our expectations. This is his comforting and forgiving presence that can never be taken away from us.
You, too, can rejoice exceedingly, because you know exactly where to find your Savior. Seek him in your worship, and don’t be disappointed that he uses such ordinary means to bless you with his saving presence. Rather, rejoice that God has shown you the way to your Savior, and is glad to meet your humble faith with his gracious love.
“I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15).
Heavenly Father, I confess that I do not seek you as earnestly as I ought. You are my source of life, my Savior from sin and death, and my hope of eternal joy. Open my eyes to see the treasure of your Holy Scriptures, the sacraments which give and sustain my faith, and the Church which is my true family both now and in eternity. Bring your Word into our homes and hearts, that you may always be with us through your Son and Spirit. Amen.
Written by Leah Alair
Provided by WELS Women’s Ministry