We Three Kings
I imagine that when the last Twilight movie comes out there will be lines and lines of people at thousands of different theaters all paying incredible amounts of money to see Twilight in 3D. I also predict “Edward” will be trending on Twitter, and that more than 25% of American facebook status’ will have something to do with Twilight. There will be trailers, and websites dedicated to the trailers. Bloggers will blog about the premiere. The actors and actresses will be all over late night shows, morning news programs, and different celebrity magazines. In short, it will be epic. There will be so much anticipation and hype that people will not be able to contain their excitement. The franchise will make more money, and Harry Potter will continue to be the cultural icon that it is.
The depth at which people will be excited is a reflection of the excitement that the Maji had when they set off on their journey to Jesus. The bible describes the Maji as men from the east. They were astrologers, who knew that something big had happened because there was an incredibly new and bright star in the sky. They set off in search of what the star meant. It was a long journey for them, meaning that they were probably what we would call Arabians, or maybe even Mongolian or Chinese. In any case it was a long journey for them. They must have been quite excited to see the newly born king.
When they arrived in Judea, the Roman province where Jesus lived his life, they went to see the King Herod in his palace. A prince becomes king and princes are not born in mangers but in palaces. So the wise men went to see the baby prince in the palace. Herod was puzzled, because there was no new babies in Herod’s house. The wise men turned from the wisdom of men and started to follow the star.
The star led them to Bethlehem, a suburb of the capital of Jerusalem. There they found a baby and a mother and father. They knelt and worshipped the king bringing him extravagant gifts. They prayed to him and called his mother and father blessed.
This is seemingly quite ridiculous. Who in their right mind worships a baby? Who in their right mind packs up their entire life and depart looking for the end of a star? Who thinks that a king would be born in a manger? Who gives expensive gifts to a teenage mother, her husband, and her child? It would seem that the wise men had lost their mind.
Worship is, to the outside world, quite ridiculous. We follow a star, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but there is no way to tell where we are going or what is going to be there when we get there. We are called to give our most prized possessions and desires to God, a person that we cannot see. We are called to give our lives over to grace, a concept that is not in our natural world as it is in heaven. We are called to rebel against almost all norms of our society and the creation that we live in.
This is because we have discovered a revelation that is so impactful that it does not change us a little, but completely transforms us. The wise men were fools to the world, but they were not fools to God. They gave their worship to the one true king because they saw that he was who he said he was. They were seeking in their king and they did not question the humble form that he took in entering this world when they found him.
As Americans we have an incredibly capacity to worship. We can see that in the frenzy surrounding Harry Potter. We can all afford movie tickets, transportation, and other amenities that people all over the world do not enjoy. We have a lot of leisure time that we can fill with various activities. As Christians our hearts should be stirred by the story of the Maji. They gave their time and treasure to worship a baby Jesus. What do we give?
Many Americans squander the grace that they have been shown. That is, many Americans throw their times and money at things of this world that do not last. Americans work more than any other people group. We spend more money on pornography and drugs than other nations. We have many cultural idols like the NFL, reality television, and food. Our greatest goal as a nation is the “American Dream” which is essentially getting more material and social power than you have right now. Is that not idolatry?
Nine percent of evangelical Christians today give to their church. That means that 91% of people that call themselves evangelical Christians give nothing to the church. These statistics are quite sad. It is sad that we do not worship with our money. Now of course there is not judgment from me, for I have a sin nature that does not like to give to the mission of God either. So I pray.
I pray that God would make me a passionate seeker. The kind of seeker that would fold up his life for a star, just to catch a glimpse of the baby Jesus. I pray that he would make me a passionate giver. The kind of giver that would spare no expense in my giving to my humble king. I pray that he would make me a passionate worshipper, the kind of man who would bow down and worship the most humble person to ever walk this earth.
Join me in my prayers. If you do not give pray for revelation. Pray that God would give you such a bright star that you would be so filled with holy passion that you could not stop yourself from worshipping Jesus Christ and God with your money and time. I pray that you would not invest in idolatry. I pray that when you look back on your life you can say God showed me great grace, and I gave all I had to him. Pray for me, that God would work on my heart in this area. Last but not least, pray to thank God for the greatness of his revelation, that makes the wisdom of this world foolishness, and the foolishness of this world great wisdom.