12/29/14 The Highlight of the Journey

The wise men depart, and seeing the star go before them again, follow it into Bethlehem.  It stops over a little house.  They stop, dismount from their camels, and look at each other in surprise.  Could this really be the place?  They expected a palace, not a little house in a little town.  But they see the star, stopped right over the house, and they trust it as a sign from God.  So they wash their hands and faces and feet, put on clean robes and fresh turbans, and prepare to present their gifts to the Child.  They walk up to the door, and, hesitating only a moment, knock.  Inside, Mary and Joseph exchange a surprised look.  They are not expecting visitors.  Joseph is worried that it may be soldiers sent by King Herod to find Jesus.  He prepares to do whatever it takes to defend the Child.  He cautiously opens the door and sees the wise men standing there.  He is not prepared for what happens next.  One of the men speaks to him, saying, “We are emissaries from the East.  We have come on a long journey, seeking the One who has been born King of the Jews.  We have followed His star to this house and have come to worship Him.  May we see Him and present our gifts to Him?”  Joseph is stunned!  He opens the door wide, unable to speak, and beckons them to come in.  They walk in, slowly, and look up to see – Him!  They catch their breaths and stop for a moment just to look.  Then they remove their turbans, kneel, and bow their heads to the floor, placing their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh before them.  They worship Him, and then, not wanting to impose upon the Holy Family, they depart.  Since it is late, they decide to camp in Bethlehem for the night, and return to Jerusalem in the morning.  But while they sleep, an angel visits their dreams and warns them not to go back to King Herod.  So they leave for their homes in the middle of the night, taking a different route than the one the star had shown them. Matthew 2:9-12

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