Watching and Waiting
Just as the wise men watched for the star announcing Jesus' birth, we watch and wait for his return.
A Christmas star such as one that would go on the top of a Christmas tree.
Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. Mark 13:33 (NIV)
Today marks the beginning of the most exciting time of the year. Today we begin the countdown to the day when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. I always look forward to this time of year and to all of the beautiful music, lights, and decorations of the Christmas season. One decoration that we will see everywhere during this season is the star. The reason we will see so many stars during the holiday season because a star was so very important to the very first Christmas.
I'm sure that all of you know the story of the wise men. You know about how the wise men, sometimes called Magi, saw a star in the sky and followed that star to find Jesus.
The Magi studied the stars and planets night after night looking for signs that might predict the coming of a great leader. I wonder why the Magi choose this particular star to follow? Did they just say to themselves, "Hey that is a really bright star. Why don't we follow it and see where it leads us?" I don't think so. God's prophets had written about that star hundreds of years before. They had told when and where it would appear and that it would announce the birth of the Messiah. I think that perhaps the wise men had heard about those prophecies, so when they saw the star, they knew where that star would lead them.
If the Christmas story ended with the star leading the wise men to Jesus, it wouldn't bring much hope to to us today would it? Well, it doesn't end there. In fact, it hasn't ended at all! The Bible tells us that just as surely as Jesus came to be born in a manger, he is going to come again. The next time Jesus comes, he will take us to heaven to live with him. Now, that is a message of hope! That is what this season is really about! Just as the wise men were watching and waiting for the star that would lead them to Jesus, you and I are watching and waiting for his return.
Dear Jesus, during this season when we look back and remember your birth, we are also watching and waiting for your return. Amen.