“Wise men...came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews (Matthew 2:1- 2)?
Why would someone leave the comfort of their home, travel 2,000 miles by camel, brave blistering deserts fraught with highwaymen and hazards, and follow a star to an unfamiliar destination? There’s only one answer: wise men and women have always hungered for God.
It’s said the three most sought-out words on the Internet are work, sex and God. Work addresses our need for security; sex addresses our need for companionship and intimacy; God addresses our need to be forgiven, to experience peace and joy, and understand our life’s purpose on Earth. It’s why primitive tribes who don’t know God make gods out of mountains, trees, and stone. Deep down we all have a need to experience something bigger than ourselves – someone capable of loving us, protecting and directing us.
When his life fell apart, Job cried, “Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come to His seat!” (Job 23:3). The ancient Greeks had an altar on Mars Hill with the inscription, “To the unknown God” Then Paul told them, “What you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.”
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The good news of Christmas is you can seek God and find Him by coming to know Jesus as your own personal Savior. Hosea called Israel to God with these words: “Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn.”
Notice where the Christ couldn’t be found: In the business world. Every motel in Nazareth was sold out with a “No Vacancy” sign. Not much has changed. Thirty percent of all retail sales in department stores take place during the Christmas holidays. Fifty percent of all parties are held during the Christmas and New Year season. One out of every 10 gallons of liquor is sold then, too.
Clearly, Jesus is good for business.
The trouble is, we prefer the myth to the Master. We want a Santa but not a Savior. We want the fairy tale but not the fact. What fact? That Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). There is a story of the kid playing the innkeeper in the Christmas pageant flipping the script. Instead of telling Mary and Joseph there was no room for them in the inn, he stood on stage, looked into the faces of the audience, froze in fear, then smiled and announced, “I’m not supposed to do this, but come on in anyway! You can have my room.”
The hymnist wrote, “Room for pleasure, room for business, but for Christ the crucified; not a place where He can enter. In the heart for which He died.” Instead of ending this Christmas exhausted, disappointed and in debt, invite Jesus into your life. You may be looking back with regret on some bad moves you’ve made this year, but making Jesus your Lord and Savior this Christmas is the best move you’ll ever make.
Gil Kinney is pastor of Real Life Assembly Church in Fort Mill.