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Where is He?

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him" (Matthew 2:2, ESV).

Where is he? .... We saw his star.... We have come to worship—him. The wise men asked the wrong guy these questions when they stopped by King Herod's castle. Telling a paranoid king why they had come and who they were looking for, did not end well for those poor families with boys two years old and under. My Bible headlines this event as the, Massacre of the Innocents. Sad, isn't it?

They couldn't have known when they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod how it would push the paranoid king to do his own search for the new King of the Jews. He, however, was not searching with worship in mind, the only person Herod worshipped was Herod. Hard to imagine, isn't it? Well, it is until I allow myself a few moments of quiet time to contemplate if I consistently search for Jesus with worship in mind.

Honestly, it can be difficult to tell some days. Especially during this season when my own journey with a purpose leads me into a store to find just the right gift for those on my list. The anticipation quickly turns into a bit of overwhelm. My worship might be more about self when my desire to please someone rather than bless them reveals itself through thoughts such as:

Will they like it? Will they appreciate it? Will I find approval? Will they find value from my efforts? Whoops. Who is this about? Self or others? Stay focused, Kolleen.

The wise men teach us how to set aside self and instead, seek. We don't know exactly how long the journey took before they found the One they sought. Herod killed the boys two and under, so they may have been following that star for two-years. We do know they did not stop until they were at the doorstep of the home of Joseph, Mary and Jesus. That's a long camel ride. A long, uncomfortable camel ride.

What do I seek? Usually, comfort. I'm not a huge fan of long and uncomfortable. Wait in long lines? I'd rather not, thank you. What joy online shopping brings as I browse from the comfort of my home. I have discovered, however, that God isn't as worried about my comfort as I am. In fact, my worship is askew when I allow my comfort a higher position in my life than His care for my life.

Does He delight in my discomfort? Absolutely not. But, there's discomfort as the Potter works to shape this lump of clay into the design as He imagined. Not as I think or even prefer. He does not press upon me to bring shame, but to release me from the grip of shame. This requires creating a space for God that allows Him to reveal and heal areas in need of inner healing, and that creates discomfort. It's not comfortable when God requires change of self. It's uncomfortable when He lifts the veil to reveal worship of self sits upon the throne.

Before they began the journey to the place where Jesus was, the wise men had to notice the star prior to following it. I have been finding the same is true for me. When I am faithful to create the space for Him, God is faithful to highlight the steps I can take that will lead to the place where I will find Jesus at work. This will require I release any agenda I have for myself. When my focus is held captive by busyness or time crunches or "what's in it for me," it's difficult to notice anything other than self.

As I read Matthew's account of the journey of Wise Men, I was struck by their persistence to follow the plan all the way to the end. These three guys refused to allow anything to detour them from completing the journey and presenting their gifts to Jesus. They understood this wasn't about comfort—it was about a King. This wasn't about them—it was about Jesus.

It's extremely difficult for me to imagine how King Herod could massacre innocent little children, but it's not that hard for me to identify with his overestimated view of self. It's in this beautiful season of Christmas that God begins to ask me to release all worship of self to come and seek Him. "When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul" (Jeremiah 29:13, NET).

In this beautiful season of Christmas where have you placed your worship? Is Jesus the One you seek after? Are you able to notice the star? Will you follow Him to the place Jesus is working regardless of the cost to your comfort?

"As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah—from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf,

one whose origins are in the distant past" (Micah 5:2, NET)

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