“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him” —Matthew 2:2
The shepherds were told precisely where to go to see the Savior born to them, and they were forewarned of the less than elegant surroundings they could expect to find. The Magi must have found their arrival more confusing. They had seen the star and followed it from their own countries, but they seem to have been expecting a more typical king: they came bearing gifts better suited for a royal court than for a carpenter’s house, and they made their inquiries in Jerusalem, at the seat of power. But once they had received clearer guidance they went on to find the child, who was a King after all, if not of the sort they imagined, and they worshiped him. They even heeded God’s warning in their dreams and returned to their own country by a different way.
I think many of us who frequent this site have tried to listen for God’s call and to understand the times, and have traveled what can feel like a long and lonely journey away from the way of life of our own country. May we hold fast to the vision that we have seen, and follow it however hard the way may seem. May we also have the humility to realize that our idea of the destination may be different from God’s idea, the attentiveness to keep hearing God’s direction when it differs from what we expected, and the reverence to recognize and worship God in whatever unexpected places we encounter Him.