We all have questions. I get asked every year “What do you want for Christmas”, then a list gets compiled and is sent out to the family.
Kelly and the kids were getting increasingly frustrated with me this year. Here’s the reason. I couldn’t think of anything I really needed for my Christmas list. How pathetic is this for a reply “Well, I am short on Vitamin C and I need some dental work !”. Good grief! My wife rolled her eyes and sighed. Truth was, as I strained, I couldn’t honestly think of anything that I could say I really needed. Here’s why: as I get older my Christmas list has gotten smaller because I have learned that the things you really want cannot be bought. Which in my case, is the difference between riches and wealth. Wealth may best be defined as the things that money can’t buy.
There was one Christmas question that caused quite a stir at the first Christmas. It was asked by some of the most curious characters in the Christmas story. They are who we call “The Magi” and they came with the best Christmas question. Technically their search was for a King and would historically take a minimum of 2 years. I love the search. I love searchers. I respect those who sincerely search. I am very grateful for parents who let me search. I believe every search , ultimately leads to the King. We know the Magi came from present-day Iran and that they were spiritual advisers. BUT their question and two statements have held my attention every year. Get this, they ask the current king “Where is the King?! How rhetorical, right? Then they make these comments “We have seen his star and have come to worship”
V.8 is most telling of the current king when he says ‘Go..and search carefully for the child’ I imagine his teeth are clenched since he cannot bring himself to say “King” only “child”. Many can see a child, few can see a KING! Truth is there is only room for one on the throne. Here it is “ It’s the Clash of Kingdoms!”. It’s quite literally heaven and earth. Love that they called it “his star”. Pretty personal universe right there don’t you think? The universe is cooperating with this king, there is no other way to explain the star. Since Bethlehem is 5 mi. South of Jerusalem and stars move east to west, but this one moves north to south. Astronomically speaking this is therefore truly “HIS Star”
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Matthew 2:5
What a curious mix of titles for the child to be both “Ruler” and “Shepherd”. The Title “ruler” takes no explanation but a “shepherd” may. Shepherd’s basically Feed & Lead the wandering little woolies ! A favourite title and promise for me is Ps.23:1 that declared when the Lord is our shepherd he removes all lack. In other words when we are led and fed (follow and feed) we will be totally and completely satisfied, every and all wants to be fulfilled. That Jesus was leading and influencing so many at his birth is quite astounding!
Perhaps as perplexing a question raised for me would be “Why didn’t the priests and teachers take the 5-mile trip?” They knew the promise from the prophecy of Micah 5:2 but didn’t take the trip. This passage causes a certain sadness for me that the religious elite would not search, only study. I never want to stop searching! Every search leads to the true king. Every study leads to the true king but takes my steps to get there.
I love how creation cooperated. But we notice that the star only got them so far. Signs usually do. It is likely that we need the scriptures to get seekers to Jesus, signs only got them to Jerusalem. It took the scriptures to get them to Jesus.
It’s easy to see how this shepherd role is much the same as a Fathers role to lead and feed their families. I want to call us Dad’s to be looking at all the outward signs of how our families are searching for the king this season. But Dad’s, don’t just point the way, LEAD the way. Don’t go part way, parents. Don’t just TELL the story this Christmas, live the story. Answer the deep question of every child’s heart. Interpret the outwards signs then answer the Christmas Question from the prophetic promises revealed in the bible. There is only room for one King on the throne of our heart. “Let every heart prepare him room”
Merriest Christmas from Canada
Ps Lorne Tebbutt
Regional Overseer of Canada
Along with my wife Kelly & 3 (Chad, Amy & Brittany) kids we planted a church in amazing Alberta city of Calgary in 1995. We have since planted a few more across Canada. We have3 ½ grandkids. Our youngest daughter Brittany has just planted a campus in downtown Calgary. She is a grad from C3 College where she met her Tasmanian Husband Steven Flight. Our church is located on the Trans-Canada Highway on way to Banff. Your always welcome to come visit us sometime .