Christmas Eve we heard again the remarkable story of how God came into our midst. God incarnate born of the Virgin Mary, born in humble surrounding of the stable, laying in the manger. The angelic announcement went out.
For those of us who are aware of such things, we observe that the Angels announced the arrival of God in the flesh to the wrong people. They sang to shepherds.
Why to shepherds? They are indeed good, hard working folk. But, they are truly folk of no account really. We will never know their names or family names or the work they do. So, why the shepherds? Because Jesus comes for everyone: rich and poor, the named and the masses.
Today we hear about the Magi, the wise men from the East. Other than the shepherds, they Magi are the only ones who come to see the Christ child.
Why the Magi? Why not Herod? Or, the Jewish chief priests, pharisees and scribes? Why the Magi?
The Magi are gentiles. They are born outside the covenantal promise of salvation. The Magi tip us off from the beginning that the Christ child is born for all people - Jew and Gentile. Jesus draws all people, all ethnic groups, to himself.
The light of the star point all of us to the babe in the manger. This babe comes to save us from our sins. Sins of ethnic and tribal pride. Sins of lust that lead to war or the destruction of homes and people and individuals.
Jesus is born for us. As an adult he takes up the cross for us - on his account, the Father forgives us. The Son’s love for us, leads to our forgiveness, our freedom, our hope.
Our response to this Good News is joy. I love the enthusiastic description of our joy in verse 5 of “O Morning Star.”
“Oh let the harps break forth in sound! Our joy be all with music crowned, our voices gaily blending! For Christ goes with us all the way - today, tomorrow, every day! His love is never ending! Sing out! Ring out! Jubilation! Exaltation! Tell the story! Praise to Christ who reigns in glory!” Amen.