Ears to hear
I love Nativity plays. It’s a real privilege being retired, that I can get to the performances at my grandchildren’s schools. Not sure I miss all the preparation that goes into it though… Still, it’s so cute the way Mary and Joseph follow the ‘donkey’ up the aisle and onto the stage, then the shepherds come with their ‘sheep’, and lastly, the three ornately adorned kings follow the ‘star’ to lay their glittering gifts beside the crib.
Not quite how it happened actually. What most people don’t spot, is that the star was absent for most of the journey. They didn’t follow it! Those magi had seen it in the East, and from that deduced the region where this king was going to arrive. It only reappeared at the very last moment, to show them the exact location. Check it out in Matthew 2:1-9.
What really gets to me about this story, is how God communicated with these people. Who they were, and what they believed, is a mystery, but he must have seen eyes that were looking for him and ears that were listening. They must have been people of some standing, as Herod took them seriously when they arrived in Jerusalem, and they had wealth enough for valuable gifts and the expense of a long journey. Yet they staked their money, time and reputation on the interpretation of something unusual in the night sky. It had to have been something very special that communicated that effectively to motivate them so profoundly. God spoke to them in a way they could relate to, in their own understanding and culture, because he knew they had attentive hearts.
God wants to speak to us. He wants to relate and communicate with anyone who will listen, in any way they will get it. Especially those who will respond to what they hear. So if I am not hearing from God, is it because I haven’t followed through on what he has told me before, or because he knows I won’t pick up on what he speaks to me? Ouch!