Day Thirteen:

Wise Men

James B. Janknegt Adoration of the Kings 28X24 Oil on Canvas 2002

Used with permission all rights reserved. To purchase prints or original artwork please visit the artist’s site.

We do not know what kind of star it was that led the Wise Men.  Some say it was a comet.  But we do know that it could not have been an ordinary star:


. . . for no other star has this capacity to guide, not merely to move but to beckon, to “go before them,” drawing and guiding them along their way.
   The star remained after bringing them to the place, in order that the child might also be seen.  For there is nothing conspicuous about the place.  The inn was ordinary.  The mother was not celebrated or notable.  The star was needed to manifest and illumine the lowly place.

—John Chrysostom, fourth century bishop of Constantinople  *


The wise men were miraculously led to the child of Christmas.  Like the shepherds before them, they were shown the true nature of this baby.  Without the angel’s description of what they would find the shepherds would not have seen the baby as the promised messiah.  Without the star the wise men would not have recognized this infant was worthy of worship.


A boy he is, but it is God who is adored. . . He permits himself to be placed in a manger, and the heavens are within the manger.  He is kept in a cradle, a cradle that the world cannot hold.  He is heard in the voice of a crying infant.  This is the same one for whose voice the whole world would tremble in the hour of his passion.  Thus he is the One, the God of glory and the Lord of majesty, whom as a tiny infant the magi recognize. 

—Chromatius, a fifth century author *


So it is with us.  Without spiritual insight we will never see the true meaning of Christmas.  It will always remain simply a holiday of shopping and gift-giving; a time of hurry, short tempers, crowded parking lots, and noisy shopping malls.  Yet, in the midst of the busyness God wants to open our eyes to the miracle of the Christmas events.


Lord Jesus,
Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”


—Mark Neilsen *