Following a vision in the New Year

Jean Newell, Associate Pastor, Sun Lakes United Methodist Church

“We three kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.”

Why did those ancient travelers follow the star in the sky? Scripture tells us they were wise men from the East. One wonders, though, if they were truly wise, why follow a star to a small Hebrew village in a far distant land? It is believed the Wise Men came from the East – possibly Persia, Arabia, even India – and were men of influence who were dedicated to scholarly pursuits or who served as advisors to a king.

It may have been that separately or together, they discovered the new star in the night sky and, comparing their findings, came to believe a new king was to be born to the Jews. Unwilling to sit on the sidelines and let others seek the new king, the three Wise Men set out on their own search which eventually led them to the little town of Bethlehem.

As they journeyed and days turned into weeks, it may have been one of them asked, “Whose idea was this anyway?” Riding a camel is not the most comfortable way to travel! Other days, they may have wondered, “Are we going in the right direction?” for they traveled through lands they had never before seen. However, they kept their eyes on their vision – on the star – and eventually they found the One for whom they had searched.

The Wise Men had a vision that if they followed the star it would lead them to the king. They were not satisfied to hear from others about such an event; they wanted to be a part of it, and so they “traversed afar, over field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star” until they came to Bethlehem and worshipped the infant Christ Child, born to be King of the Jews.

As we enter into a new year, my prayer is that each of us may be like the Wise Men and not be satisfied to sit on the sidelines. May we – like the three ancient travelers – open ourselves up to God’s vision that will guide us – a vision of what it is that God would have us do as we seek a closer and deeper spiritual relationship with our Lord and Savior.