Sunday, January 2, 2011

Leaving Jerusalem

About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him." King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.
                                                                                                            Matthew 2:1b-3

Why did the priests not rejoice at the news that the Messiah had been born? As much as prophecy regarding the birth of the Messiah had been studied, I know they must have longed for the arrival of Immanuel. Did no priest or religious leader want to go find Jesus upon hearing this news? If everyone in Jerusalem was deeply disturbed, why didn't anyone, especially the religious leaders, act on the news? Were they too busy, did they not believe the wise men, or were they too proud to listen to people from far away (who were not Jews) who knew something they didn't. Or were the priests and religious leaders so cozy with Herod that they didn't want the Messiah to come?

When have I failed to respond to the news that Jesus is among us? I know I have been guilty of allowing pride to get in my way when I discount the messenger because of my own biases, or because acknowledging the presence of Jesus would upset my carefully made plans and relationships or because I was just too busy and distracted  to really take in the message. For me to acknowledge that Jesus is here among us, I have to lay aside my schedule, my relationships, my cultural biases and my pride and obey the Word of God, whoever delivers it and wherever it sends me. 

Like the wise men, I must follow the star even if it leads me to a different land, a different people, a different culture, and be prepared to worship Jesus among us. I must come with love in my heart for God that is stronger than anything that would hold me in Jerusalem, because as long as I remain in comfortable Jerusalem, I miss seeing Jesus.

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