It is a little early for Christmas stories, although my daughter who has been counting down the days since summer began, would disagree.
But this is a story we need to remember everyday not just once a year…..
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” – Matthew 2:1-2
When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under….
Jeremiah’s prophecy was fulfilled: –
“A voice is heard in Ramah,weeping and great mourning,Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted,because they are no more.” –
The greatest event in human history took place in a stable in the humble town of Bethlehem.
With an unusual cast of characters;
A brutal King willing to destroy anything or anyone including innocent babies, that he considered a threat to his kingdom.
Magi who traveled from Persia to worship a King foretold in the stars.
Angels warning of a plot to kill the baby boy destined to be King
Joseph and Mary fleeing by night just ahead of the danger.
And dreams that direct and guide a young father and mother….
Persia, Bethlehem, Egypt, Nazareth.
Murderous King, Magi, Angels, Joseph, Mary, King of Kings.
This is part of the Christmas story that is not celebrated with figurines, cards or displays on the lawn.
The attempt by the enemy to destroy the hope of all mankind.And those who prevented it.
But through this part of the story we gain a clearer understanding of not only the events, places, people but the purposes of God who had been silent for 400 years.
Through the prophets in the past, the events, the places, the dreams, the stars the Magi followed, the young girl and her soon-to-be husband, shepherds and astrologers
God was speaking.
Jesus was born into a world in trouble.
Ruled under authority of brutal Kings and Caesars, the once great nation of Israel is now a shadow of its former glory, the temple built by Herod serving as a witness, a reminder of what once was….
God had delivered and rescued His chosen ones time after time, but this time the deliverance would not be brought about by a military leader or king, but by a baby born in a manger.
He was speaking then and he is speaking now…
In our world we also see many troubles. Troubles that seem to grow stronger with every passing day.
Nation against nation, people against people, wars and rumors of war, famines and natural disasters, lawlessness, hatred and evil.
We look for solutions through presidents and leaders and governments, and ourselves.
And for some the baby is still in the manger. If he ever came at all….
But God is speaking.
Through the events in our world that tell us that despite our best efforts we cannot rescue ourselves.
Through the Herod’s and Caesars of our world that kill, steal, and destroy….
Through the martyrs and the persecuted in many nations, through those who give their time, their resources, even their lives that others might know the baby who became King.
In so many ways God is speaking, wanting as many as possible to not miss the King who is coming again.
God is speaking.
Are you listening?