On Christmas Eve night, I had the pleasure of going to a friend’s home and helping to prepare the vegetables for our Christmas Day dinner.
We skinned, chopped, sliced for an hour or so. Knowing the next day we would be able to partake in the deliciousness of what our hands were about that night made the task all the easier. It wasn’t seen as a chore or a strain anymore. Instead, I realized what a blessing it was to be involved in the process before the actual meal.
Because on Christmas Day I knew what work had gone on behind the scenes. The food didn’t magically clean or cook itself. There was a process and a preparing.
Matthew 2:9 reads “After hearing the king they went their way, and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was.”
The Wise Men had already traveled a great distance to Jerusalem to see the newborn King of the Jews, and in this verse they are drawing ever nearer to where they would find the Star they have been seeking.
The opportunity of following the star arose for these men but ultimately it was their decision what they did with it. They weren’t going to be zapped from where they resided to the foot of baby Jesus in seconds. No, this was something that was going to take time. Something that would require commitment and diligence, hope and faith.
There was preparation going on.
The star went on before the men so that they would have something to follow, something that would lead them to Jesus.
I love the idea that the star went on before because in my ears, that rings of the importance of preparation.
I can imagine that by this point the kings were anxious to see the baby. Their journey was no short one, and I imagine there were a couple of really difficult moments along the way.
But the star went on before them.
Even the darkness, they were being led and being guided. They may have felt miles from home, but the star was their compass pointing on.
We too have a Star to follow, a Light to guide us. We don’t have to wander around aimlessly. But we must move.
By working on the Christmas Dinner the night before, I learned that there are things that need to take place in order for something to come about.
Perhaps the Wise Men needed the long trip to humble them or to strengthen their faith in the coming Messiah. Whatever the reason, their destination could only be reached through a journey.
God is the Star that we can place our trust in. We can follow Him because He goes on before us. He has set a plan before our feet. All we must do is walk with Him along the way. Allow Him to prepare our hearts and spirits however He sees fit.
Just like the Wise Men, our soul’s desire is to see Jesus. We want our lives to reflect the tremendous, miraculous work He has done in our lives.