As the world goes dark with the loss of a loved one, or the loss of a job, or as the world goes dark with the betrayal of someone who should have loved you best. You're at the hospital and cancer has your world; you never saw it coming! The doctor's words have just left you reeling and numb. In that moment, what has your attention?
2,000 years ago, in Jerusalem, the country was occupied and broken. Faith was really no where to be found. God had been silent for 400 years before the birth of Jesus and things were at probably one of the lowest places that they could have ever been other than maybe the captivity when they were wearing chains. All the people in Jerusalem were going about their business just like you and I are going about ours this Christmas. They were coping with life just like you and I. People were bumping into each other and struggling and everything that is real for you and I here and now, it was real for them too!
In the midst of all of this, God suddenly revealed hope in the world. The scripture tells us that there were Magi from the east (Matthew 2:1). They weren't kings, these guys weren't even God's people, they were pagans. They didn't have the right skin color, they didn't speak the right language or have the right religious pedigree. They were outsiders; they were not Jews! But whatever they were, in the busyness of their short life, they looked up! And in looking up, they saw a hope that was different than anything before and it changed them!
These three men, these people who knew nothing before this season of life, discovered something that changed everything for them and for us! And in the night sky, looking at the big picture of life, I want you to step back from the busyness and not just be one of the ants bumping into the other ants. I want you to step back and look out on the horizons of your life. God caused that star to be shining over the world! But faithlessness couldn't see it and busyness couldn't see it! Something in their hearts were captured by the light of God. These Magi were people just like you, they had choices to make just like you, with forks in the road just like you! But as they looked around in life, they decided that there must be more and so they looked up!
What has captured your attention in life and is keeping you from looking up? Are you focused on problems? Are you focused on regret? Has shame captured your heart? Fear? The truth is that most of us here have our attention literally captured by the world around us. God has appeared in a way that must be believed and can be easily dismissed! "I Am the light of the world," Jesus said in John 8:12, "and whoever believes in me, who ever is willing to put their hope in me and follow me in a changed way of living, they will never walk in darkness but they will have the light of life!"
There is a light shining over your circumstance and it is the same light that was shone guiding these wise men, smart enough to look up and to seek Jesus. The light of God's love is shining over your pain, your problems, your addiction, your cancer, your 'fill in the blank'. But you have to look up and you have to see it in the busyness of your short life here on planet earth!
You can look up and you can see nothing, but I'm just telling you that the star of Bethlehem is shining brilliantly over your pain. These three guys saw what nobody else saw; they saw hope above and they ran towards hope! Look up, because above what is hopeless to you now, there is hope. Into your world a light has come! -Dr. Drew Shofner