Saturday, December 20, 2008

Risking Everything at Christmas

The birth of Jesus ben Joseph haunted those who knew his true identity. Last in a series of six meditations.


If you’re married, what risks did you take to win your spouse’s heart? How long did you seek his or her “I do”?

The Magi risked everything. The Wise Men became holy fools—desperate, compelled, finally obsessed. They traveled perhaps 1,000 miles or more, probably in a small camel train, to find “the newborn king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:2).

These men may have come from a prestigious city of the ancient Medes, Persians, or Caldeans—almost certainly not Jews. Why then their intense dedication to find Jesus Christ?

Somehow, they knew that God in heaven had sent his Son to earth. Nothing more spectacular had ever happened in human history. They felt driven to welcome this child and to present him with exquisite gifts of great wealth.

Braving extreme heat, sand storms, and the constant threat of thieves, these Magi traveled for months through many foreign lands to the far west—to within a day of the great Mediterranean Sea.

Why such persistence and risk? What in the world did they hope to gain? A story? Yet who would believe?

Like the Magi, you and I have a terrible, haunting choice to make.

Are we willing to risk it all? For what?

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