One star burns in the darkness / Shines with a promise / Emmanuel / One child born in the stillness / Living within us / Emmanuel – Matt Maher, Glory (Let There Be Peace) – Single.
It’s been said that stars shine brightest in the darkness. Yet the only people who recognized a special star in the heavens were the ones looking for it. And when it appeared, they followed it to a special baby in another country, proving that divine guidance comes only to prepared hearts. It doesn’t come to just anyone or everyone. Even though the star was there for all to see, only a select few acted upon it. Just like when the time came to quickly leave his homeland, Joseph took his wife and child and went to Africa. He had been told in a dream to marry a woman who was not carrying his child, and he did so. Now he was being told to flee before that child could be slaughtered by a jealous king. His heart had proved before that it was prepared to obey, so divine guidance was given for a second time. How am I preparing my heart to receive divine guidance that I may act? Would I recognize it because I am actively looking for it?
The second lesson I draw from this chapter concerns the act of worship by those wise men. They brought gifts. Expensive gifts. Gifts that, no doubt, cost them something. And that, in a nutshell, is the definition of worship. It’s not necessarily sitting in a special building, singing special songs or hearing someone preach a special message. It is not saved for a special day of the week. Worship is the act of giving what is valuable to me to someone else whenever it is necessary. It comes in the form of a listening ear or offering to drive someone to a doctor’s appointment across town. Sometimes it involves money. Sometimes it involves time. It always involves the heart and mind working together. Most of the time, it is quiet and doesn’t draw attention to itself. I would be willing to bet that journey and act of worship was not a one-time deal for those wise men. Scripture doesn’t record it, but I suspect those individuals had made a lifestyle habit out of seeking out opportunities to worship so that when the star appeared, of course they would follow it. So how does all of this impact me? It makes worship something that can happen on an hourly basis instead of a weekly one. And it makes worship something that is not a solitary act, nor something for my benefit. It steps me outside myself so I am reaching out to others God has placed in my path. In reaching out to them, in giving to them, I am involved in the act of worship – not of them, but through them. And I can’t help but believe that touches God’s heart as much as singing a song to Him does or sitting in a church. And it proves Emmanuel is living within us.