After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2
On the day after Christmas, the work of Christmas begins. Sure, we spend weeks leading up to the holiday, baking and buying and partying and celebrating and wrapping and decorating and I could go on listing dozens more activities. We do them all. We do them in the name of celebrating the baby from Bethlehem. Afterwards, when the bottom of the tree is barren of gifts, when the meals are done, when the wassail is gone, when radio stations stop playing the music, we get back to work.
What did the Magi do? They were wise men; we all know that. That means that, perhaps, they were men of accomplishment. Or professors, perhaps; learned men who spent their days studying, and learning, and interpreting matters of the world. Maybe they were kings. What did these wise men of worldly standing do? They journeyed for weeks from their homes in what is now Iran, or Saudi Arabia, because they saw a star they did not understand. Their work was to understand such things, and the only conclusion they could reach was that this start must be a sign from God that He was coming into their world.
He came into their world. He comes into our world. And that’s when the work of Christmas begins. It isn’t the work of burning used wrapping paper. Or putting away decorations. It isn’t the work of driving home or returning to our jobs. It actually isn’t the kind of thing that we’d consider work at all.
We need to do the work of the magi. It’s time to do what they did. To journey in our hearts and simply worship. You know the song: o come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord. That takes work, preparation of the heart. It takes time and effort to see the signs God sets before us that point to Jesus, to our looking for Him so that we, like the Magi, might follow His star and worship Him. It means reading His Word and putting it into practice. It means forgiving our brothers and sisters who hurt us. It means choosing His peace when there are so many other choices in our troubled world. It means talking about what He did for us. It means worship in all we do.
That takes work, but it’s the work Jesus came here to do in us. It’s the work of Christmas that Jesus asks us to do every other day of the year. Get to work.
For more reading: Numbers 24:17, Jeremiah 23:5, Mark 15:2, Luke 2:4-7, Luke 23:38, John 1:49, John 18:33-37, Matthew 2:3
Savior Jesus, do Your work in me today, that I might work for You.