Bulletin-Image-wk1One of my favorite memories from Christmas time as a kid, was getting the catalog in the mail. You know, the big one. The Sears Catalog. My brothers and I would take turns with different colored crayons, circling the toys we wanted for Christmas that year. It was similar to that scene in the Christmas classic “A Christmas Story” when Ralphie spots the Red Rider BB Gun in the store’s window. Eyes were filled with wonder as the possibilities swirled in his head about what he would do with that toy gun.

There’s something magical about watching children experience the wonder at Christmas. With all the demands and distractions of the season, we often wish we could recapture some of that ‘wonder’ for ourselves.

Today I am thinking about a familiar story of the three kings, who are traveling from the east, following a star. These kings noticed the star in the sky and realizing that this fit with prophecies of the Messiah, they began to follow it. The stars were they’re GPS of the day and they were getting close. As they arrived in Jerusalem, they figured that the current king would know all about the birth of the new king, so they stopped by the castle to get directions from Herod. What a confusing scene this must have been, as they asked a current king about a possible successor, one that was not related. Herod didn’t know, so he called together his council who proceeded to tell him about the prophecies and where Jesus was to be born.

With ulterior motives, Herod sent the kings of to Bethlehem to find the child and report back to him. The kings continued on and after finding the child, they offered their gifts to Jesus. They bowed down and worshiped him, leaving with their hearts full of the joy, comfort, and peace that God gives. They left with the wonder of what they had just witnessed. They left with the wonder of the possibilities this child would bring. They left with the wonder brought from following a star.

The kings experienced this wonder because they had eyes to see, because they had courage to follow, and because they had humility to worship. The star was there for all to see. The kings saw the star, Herod saw the star, the shepherds saw the star, the whole world saw the star. The difference came when you began to notice who had eyes to truly see the star and what it meant to the world. The kings saw the star and recognized that it was a sign from God that would lead them closer to what they truly desired. It was a sign that would lead them to God.

The three kings knew that there was more to this life, more in this world, more than just wealth and prestige, and they longed for it. They searched for it. They followed a star for it. Herod strived for more of what he already had. He wanted more money, more influence, more power, and he would stop at nothing to get it. This blinded him to the true message of the star, the true wonder of the star.

Do we know that there is more? Do we long for something different and more meaningful than wealth, prestige, and power? Are we able to see the wonder of the star, the sign that will lead us to God? Do you have eyes to see?

For the kings, the star was a sign, a sign to lead them to God. We may not have a star leading us right now, but our lives are full of signs that point us to God. What in your life is pointing you towards God? Will you be like Herod who ignored the signs and remained too proud to get off his throne to approach God? Or will you be like the three kings who had eyes to see, the courage to follow, and the humility to worship Jesus for who he is?

The wonder of a star welcomes us to this journey. Like the wondrous star that guided the kings to the Christ child, God has placed signs in our lives, all meant to lead us to God. Do we have the eyes to see them? Do we have the openness to feel the wonder of this season?

This is a time to feel once again, the wonder of Christmas. We are reminded that once we believe, anything is possible.