Matthew’s account of the Magi’s journey to Jerusalem, to the “King of the Jews’” birthplace in Bethlehem and beyond, brings a sudden halt to our own anticipation and wandering through the Advent season. The “epiphany” of Jesus is what these nomadic Wise Men have come to witness. And while their expedition’s discovery is a glimpse of hope in an ongoing Drama of chaos and brokenness for today’s Christian, it was not always so. Scripture says that those who had power to lose by the prediction, discovery and recognition of a “new king,” were frightened or disturbed (2:3). Matthew’s word choice here, also used later on to describe the disciples’ emotion when they saw Jesus walking on water (14:26), helps us understand the radical repercussions of Jesus’ birth. It is worthy of awe and fear; filled with uncertainty, insecurity, and desperation no matter how well we know and believe in the baby in the manger.
So, let it change you.
Let it transform you.
The three Magi had to take a different road home, because it was in fact the Messiah they found under that star. May the gift of Christ leave you rather transformed this Advent, so that you must journey from here on out, by way of a different road…