A Second Look at a Star
Several things may be learned from the story of the wise men and their search for the Saviour. Consider, first of all, while the star was there for everyone to see, only a few saw it.
These wise men probably were what we today would call astrologers. They were not astronomers, for they tried to fashion meanings in the movements of the heavens instead of studying the celestial mechanics. They were at their regular work, watching the heavens, when they discovered something new. Some phenomenon had happened while they watched, and they saw it because they were looking for a sign. Thousands of others must have seen the same star; but, because they were not aware, they did not see.
Everyone has seen mold. Most of us have seen it hundreds of times. Probably to most of us it is something that must be thrown out since it represents decay and danger. But when Alexander Fleming saw mold, he was aware of its potentials because he was looking for a sign. He saw more than mold. He saw penicillin.
What are you looking for in life - money? security? happiness? contentment? If it is no higher than yourself, you will never see the star. . . not even the first time. We must be aware that God is beckoning us if we would see the Saviour.
More than that. We must not only be aware. We must be anxious, eager, if we are to see the star. It is not enough simply to “carry a cross” of duty in the work of the Lord. Rather, we must do it gladly and eagerly, looking anxiously for a sign from God that what is done is right.
Dr. Ralph W. Sockman says that pillars will never stand upright unless something bears down on them from above. I am glad for those in the church who serve God from a sense of duty. But I am a little sorry for them, too, since those who serve eagerly are those who find joy in their job.
That was the difference between Mary and Martha. Martha served from a sense of duty. Mary served from eager joy.
You see, the star was there for everyone to see. No one can monopolize a star. But only those who want to see it will do so.
CONSIDER, further, that if we would see the star we must be going in the right direction. The wise men had been going for a long time. They used their sense of judgment. They had studied the sacred writings. But, most important, they had set out with faith. There was no doubt as to which direction they would go. Nor was there doubt as to whether they should go. They didn’t waste time debating, as we might have done, the meaning of the heavenly phenomenon. They didn’t even consider the political situation, as well as they might, for things were not at all comfortable around Jerusalem that year. They thought little of their own safety. They simply set out. And when they did, the star guided them. God always guides us if we set out in faith and watch His star.
CONSIDER AGAIN, when the wise men arrived where they thought they were going, they were in the wrong place. Somehow, in their anxiety to find the Saviour, they lost sight of the star.
I suppose they were blinded by the glitter of Jerusalem. Who can blame them? When they found Him later, He was in the stable; and, instead of a king, they found the King of kings.
Life is like that. The most of life is a matter of adjusting to new circumstances. Usually the plans we make are not those which are carried out. It is all very well to cry defiantly that “I am the master of my fate.” In a sense we are. But in a larger sense we are not. We are not responsible for what life does to us. But we are responsible for the attitude we take to what life does to us.
THIS is the greatest lesson from the story of the wise men. Life was fulfilled for them when they saw the star the second time. When they got to the place where they thought they were going and did not find the Saviour, they talked with other wise men and then set out again.
As they went their way. . . “the star, which they saw in the East went before them, till it came and stood over, where the young child was. When they saw the star (the second time), they rejoiced with great joy exceeding.” Their mission was not complete until they had seen the star the second time.
When we see the star the second time our goals are changed, our hopes realized; and Christmas takes on meaning. The greatest joys of life will come with our second look at the star.
Vernon L. Taylor