Magi (or Wise Men) came from the East seeking out a new king born to the nation of Israel. Herod was a puppet king of Rome and certainly not a rightful ruler over God’s people. He and all in Jerusalem were disturbed that these foreigners came seeking a newborn king.
These Magi had been following a star which pointed them in Israel’s direction, and rightfully so, they came to the capital, the city of Jerusalem. There they would find the king. Scriptures, however, pointed them to a small town to the south called Bethlehem. Micah had prophesied that, about 500 years before. So off these “wise men” went to find a newborn king in Bethlehem. Matthew writes in his gospel, “When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.” The star gave them direction, light, and joy. In fact “exceedingly great joy! On this third advent, Sunday may the candle of joy shine deep into your heart.
This good news of Jesus is described by Peter as “joy unspeakable and full of glory!” Jesus invites us to enter into the joy of the Lord. Let me ask, “What ignites your heart with joy?” Is it the eternal gift or fleeting temporal pleasures and trinkets?