We Will Find Him

December 11th, 2019

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived unexpectedly in Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

3 When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Messiah would be born.

5 “In Bethlehem of Judea,” they told him, “because this is what was written by the prophet:

6 And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

are by no means least among the leaders of Judah:

because out of you will come a leader

who will shepherd My people Israel.”

7 Then Herod secretly summoned the wise men and asked them the exact time the star appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you find Him, report back to me so that I too can go and worship Him.” 

9 After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was — the star they had seen in the east! It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure. 11 Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their own country by another route.

 

Matthew 2:1-12

"We Will Find Him"

 

From: "The Promise: A Celebration of Christ's Birth, Prayers, Reflections, and Songs"

p. 32-37

 

  Melchior sat brooding in his chamber, impatiently tuning the yellowed parchment leaves of one of his obscure and valuable manuscripts.  He was one of the chief magi of the Persian king.  His reputation for wisdom and scholarship were well deserved, his grasp of the literature of all the world's religions was vast.

  According to the laws of Persia, he had to be present at sacred functions to utter cryptic and sacred words known only to the elder and elite of his august group.  Young "searchers" would come to him to seek out the deepest and most esoteric truths.

  Melchior was a wise man.  And yet...

  As he slowly looked up, the parchment slipped from his long fingers and fell in a heap on the stone floor.

  His servant, Aziel, spoke up, "Master, need I remind you to take care with the parchments?"

  Melchior was silent.

  Aziel collected the parchment leaves from the floor and returned them to their proper place on one of the long shelves that lined three walls of the room.  Behind his heavy-lidded eyes Melcior was deep within himself, pacing up and down as it were.  Searching.  Wondering.  The tormented habit of a lifetime.  He was startled by a soft knocking on the door.

  From outside, a youthful voice called, "Master Melchior, are you receiving visitors?"

  "Come," he replied.

  Into the room slipped a tall young man dressed in turban and the long-flowing robes of the son of a vizier.

  "Would it be better if I came back tomorrow?" the young man asked respectfully.

  "No, Caspar.  Come in," Melcior replied, his impatience hidden beneath a tired, conciliatory tone.  "What would you like to discuss today?  Zoroastrian doctrine perhaps?  Astrology?"

  "There is but one question on my mind today, Master.  Tell me - in your own heart, from your own experience - what is wisdom?"

  Studying the old master's face, Caspar went on.  "I have seen that wisdom is not the same as knowledge.  I know simple men who are wise and knowledgeable men who are fools.  The one thing I do know about wisdom - the only thing I know - is that I desire it above all else.  Beyond riches.  Even beyond the love of a woman.  And yet I don't really know what it is I desire, or why this desire consumes me the way it does."

  Melchior was lost in reverie again.  The young man's question had sent him on another journey inside himself.  Caspar knew to wait in silence, for the old man was a long time in answering.

  When he spoke again, Melcior's voice seemed weaker, "Your question comes as an answer to me, young one."  He was whispering, as much to himself as to Caspar.  "Your dilemma has given me a key to unlock my own prison.  All my life I have sought wisdom.  I have pondered the material world and the stars.  I have observed mankind and sought to follow the twists and turns of his mind.  Today, as I approach four-score, I realized that all my study has taught me that I know nothing.  I have done nothing.  Like you, all I am left with is the hunger."

  Caspar was dazed.  "Then what shall we do with our burden, this intolerable hunger for wisdom?"

  "What can we do but wait?" Melchior responded.  "We will pray to God - if a god exists, or if he listens or even cares."

  Yet the tone of the old man's voice held little hope.  And there was a heavy resignation in it which hinted to Caspar that they might never find their hearts' desire.

  "Go, you have nothing more to learn from me," said Melchior sadly.  "Come back if you find some answer.  And I will come to you if I find one."

  Caspar stepped out into the night.  He looked up into a black sky, so much like the way he was feeling inside.  Not a single star out tonight, he thought woefully.

  The star first appeared, high in the western sky, four months later.  It hung there next to Jupiter, the wandering star of the king, in a constellation the magi called, "the house of the Hebrews."  Caspar ran, out of breath, straight to the house of Melchior.

  Entering, he stared, dumbfounded.  The furnishings, as well as the hundreds of manuscripts were gone.  He wondered if Melchior had fallen out of favor with the king.  There in the main study he found the magi at his window, gazing up into the early evening sky.  His eyes were transfixed on the star.

  "What does it mean, Master?" asked Caspar.

  "It is Jacob's star," Melchior whispered.  "The Jews have a prophecy, uttered by a disreputable member of our own society - Balaam was his name.  It seems he was summoned by the king..."

  "Yes, yes, I know the story," Caspar interrupted, barely able to control impatience.  "But what does it...."

  "A star will rise out of Jacob, a scepter out of Israel."  Melchior pronounced the words slowly.

  "What does it mean!"

  "It means that I have been an arrogant fool, young one.  I have boasted all my life of being a seeker of truth - I, always me.  When I saw that star I knew in an instant what it meant."  Melchior sounded so forlorn that Caspar feared the star's meaning was something evil.

  "That star is an invitation.  You see, Wisdom is seeking us.  And He has sent that star as an invitation to come to Him, yes Him."

  Then the old man's entire frame shuddered, as a tear glided haltingly down his cheek and was lost in his beard.  "All my life He has been seeking me.  He is the one who has given to me and to you our hunger for Him.  And now this star is a precious gift.  I have sold all that I have for the journey and for gold to offer when I meet Him.  I believe He must be a great King.  Tonight I leave.  I shall probably never return, never see you again, Caspar."

  Behind the old man's words there was an awareness of his great age and the length of the journey.  Evidently, he had accepted the fact that he would most likely die before he could return home again.  At the same time his face shone with a peace that had never been there before, as if he had already found all that he had been looking for - his deepest longing already filled.

  Caspar slipped up close beside him.  He reached out and placed a hand on Melchior's boney shoulder, realizing that this was the first time they had ever touched.  Together they stood before the open window gazing up intently at the star that was so bright it cast their shadows back onto the cool stone floor.

  When it seemed that Melchior already knew what Caspar was going to say, the young man whispered, "Tonight weleave."

 

          Lord, we would be seekers of you.

        We would be the ones who embrace

        your Wisdom.  But it is you who 

        have sought and found us.  It is your

        Wisdom that has embraced us.  It is

        you who begin and finish it all.  It is

        only you.

          "All who see me find me," your

        Word says.  But are we not seekers

        because we have already been found

        first by you?  And do we not find

        you because it is you who have first 

        loved us?

          Then seek us, O Lord, until we

        are completely found.  And draw us

        close with your love, until we find

        you forever.

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