When most of us think about Christmas, we default to baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, shepherds and angel choirs. Lately I’ve been pondering the connection between Jesus and kings in the Christmas story. The contrasts are amazing. Herod was governor of Judea at that time. For the most part he was nothing more than a Roman puppet. His job was to ensure that the Jews were properly controlled and as much as possible absorbed into the Roman Empire. Herod was oblivious to the coming of Jesus. Jesus was born a mere 8kms from Herod’s palace and Herod missed it completely. Sometimes leaders aren’t very different from you and me. We miss what God is doing right in front of us.
Almost 2 years after the fact, magi or wisemen or kings appeared at Herod’s court seeking to honor the King of the Jews. Not only were they watching the skies for a sign that something was happening, they were also curious enough that they followed the sign to Herod’s palace and ultimately to Bethlehem where they found Jesus. Their journey cost them time, energy and comfort. They brought expensive gifts with them to honor the king. They were seekers, but more than just seekers. They were men on a mission, intent on meeting and honoring the King of the Jews.
Most people are of the opinion that political leaders aren’t really interested in seeking out Jesus. After 5 years of ministry to political leaders, I’ve discovered that there are far more who have hearts like the Magi than there are those who have hearts like Herod. Some are very open about their curiosity and pursuit. Some are more discreet. What matters is that they are searching and that by God’s grace, we are there and able to support and assist in their pursuit.
One of our highlights from this year was to hear about an MLA who had decided all on his own to read the bible for the first time in his life. He began his journey to find Jesus on Jan 1st. I don’t know why or what sparked his interest. It’s my privilege to support and encourage him on the journey. I had a visit with him in September. When I saw him, he started the conversation with ‘I know you are going to ask so let me just save you the time, I’ve got 21 pages to go!’ We chatted briefly about what he thought about what he read. There are more conversations to follow. I’ve been praying that like the Magi of old, he will find the King this Christmas.