by Tom Wacaster
Almost two thousand years ago, an unidentified number of wise men (magi, according to the Greek) observed a strange phenomenon, and followed a star to the outskirts of Jerusalem. They were searching for He that is "born king of the Jews" (Matt. 2:2). You know the story. The distance traveled, the inconvenience of absence from their own country, and separation from their families demonstrate a noble endeavor on the part of these wise men. Their example of courage and commitment give us a worthy example to imitate in our search for the King of kings. I am fully aware that there is nothing in the New Testament to suggest that the first century church somehow celebrated the birth of Christ annually. Typically, even today the churches of Christ do not "celebrate" Christmas (at least as a religious holiday). I do read, however, of a divine memorial to the death of our Jesus as we remember His body and His blood every first day of the week (Acts 20:7). I do not doubt that some men and women with noble intentions thought it might be good to set aside a time to remember the birth of Christ. But a close study will reveal that this holiday is a mixture of pagan custom and apostate Christian practice.
Of particular interest to this scribe is the fact that our present "season" is really quite a paradox. Songs are sung glorifying the King, while the masses live in rebellion to His rule. We speak of peace on earth, and the carnage on the highways by those "celebrating" produces anything BUT peace. Religious overtones permeate the airways, but spiritual transformation simply does not take place deep within the heart. The search for the King has become nothing more than annual lip service in the lives of the world in general. It has become, for the most part, a search for bargain prices at some super sale so we can maintain a sense of generosity while internally we are as covetous and idolatrous as the "heathen" nations around us.
We must remind ourselves that the search for the King is not a seasonal search, but a life long endeavor. The scriptures do not teach that the "holiday season" is the time for hearing, but rather it is "today" - any time that the opportunity avails itself (although it may include this time of the year). The search for the King is not found amongst pretty paper, pretty ribbons of blue, or the downtown rush of shoppers. The search for the King is not a time of frolic or reveling, but a time of sober and serious self examination with regard to one's relationship to the Almighty God. The search for the King is not a cup of eggnog, but the cup of humility demonstrated in a contrite heart and obedient life. Like those noble Beroeans of old, may our search for the King of kings permeate our life 365 days a year. Like the wise men from the east, let us prostrate ourselves before the Holy One of Israel and submit to His law for our life. That, dear friend, is the only true search for the King.