The nativity story has many incredible twists and turns, so wonderfully sewn together that people mistake the truth of Christmas as fiction: Bethlehem, the manger, the star, the angels, the shepherds, Herod, and so on.
One such twist was the coming of the wise men. Who were these people? Their identity in the nativity story is shrouded in mystery.
As a little boy in Sunday school, I wondered how they could have possibly heard about Jesus’ birth. They appeared from nowhere, yet they knew that the Savior had just been born. We might have no knowledge of who they were, but they had complete knowledge of what the story was all about—the story of Christmas.
The wise men entered the scene and suddenly spiced up the plot.
Today, I see modern wise men in this ministry. Here at the country office in the Philippines, visiting sponsors often just show up. They are strangers, but there is warmth in their presence, as if their sudden appearance is important to the “plot” that we live out in the field.
They come smiling, shaking hands, and giving gifts. I ask myself, “Who are these people?” I have no knowledge of their personal lives, yet they have a perfectly good understanding of the lives of their sponsored children and how we serve these children.
These modern wise men spice up the plot, and the lives of the children are changed dramatically. Hope, joy, and excitement enter.
The wise men in the nativity came to honor the God-child. You, our sponsors are modern “wise men” who come to honor the God-image in each child. You see what no one else sees. Beyond the poverty and hopelessness, you see the special person that God created in a child.
When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. —Matthew 2:1, CEV
Prayer: We thank you, O Lord, for your gift of Christmas, which speaks of your love, your mercy, and your salvation. And thank you for people who keep Christmas alive by freely sharing their love. Please continue to bless our sponsors so that in turn they may bless the children.
Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.