In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, asking “Where is the Child who has been born King of the Jews? For we observed His star at its rising, and have come to pay Him homage.”
Matthew 2:1 & 2
December 28 2011
I remember the first Christmas that Gary and I spent together. I set up my Manger scene and Gary told me that his brother Guy says the wise men didn’t come to see Jesus until He was about 2 years old, so having them before the Manger is wrong. That would be correct but did that stop me from putting them out? Of course not, and I will gladly tell you why. I put the wise men out at the Manger scene to remind me that they did come to worship Jesus. The fact that they came is far more important than the time of their arrival.
Christmas is behind us and one of the biggest complaints I hear from people is that they have to arrive at church early to get a seat. This bothers them because they attend church every Sunday and well, for most of us who do attend regularly we understand there is an unspoken seating chart at church. On the holidays that seating chart is tossed right out the window as the holiday Christians come through the door. They not only sit where they want but they have the audacity to throw their coats over seats to save a place for their families. Us regulars get there, park 3 blocks down, trudge through the snow, slip on the ice and then sit on a folded chair in the vestibule where we keep our coats on because it is cold. We are put out, we moan and we state this is not fair, not right. Then comes the beginning of the New Year and we all try to brainstorm how we can serve our community and bring new members in to our church. I suppose those would be the people who we just scowled at on Christmas because they took our seat.
Does it matter that they come only on Christmas? Yes and no. I see this in the same light as the wise men. Does it matter how old Jesus was when they came to worship Him? What is more important here, that they came to worship Jesus or how old Jesus was when they arrived? What is more important to us?
By the time that you read this Christmas will be behind us, and those who took our seats won’t be seen again until Easter morning. Here’s a thought. Why not try to find these people. Why not reach out to them and tell them how thrilled you were to see them and ask them to come back more often. Do as Mary and Joseph did and welcome them whenever they come because that is what matters.