The Wasatch Behind: Wise men still seek him
Something to think about:
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2: 8-11.
Have you ever wondered why that first heavenly announcement of Jesus' birth was made to only a few humble shepherds? Why didn't more people see the heavenly messengers? Why didn't the angels appear in the temple? Why didn't the angels sing for all of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Judea? Why didn't the angels speak to Herod the king and the wise and powerful men of the day?
And then: "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, where is He who is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship Him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all of Jerusalem with him." Mathew 2: 1-3.
Why did foreigners need to tell Herod and the people of Judea that the King of the World had been born among them? Why didn't they see the star and recognize it for what it was? Why didn't they know beforehand that this great event was about to happen? Scripture and prophets had foretold the birth of Jesus for hundreds of years. Why didn't more people recognize the Christ child? Why weren't they waiting for his arrival?
Could it be that the people of Judea had taken God out of their schools, government and everyday lives? Was prayer banned at their football games and public meetings? Were the Ten Commandments still displayed on the steps of the courthouse? Was "In God We Trust" still the motto of the nation, or had the words become too controversial? Did the people pledge "One Nation Under God," or were they more comfortable just being one nation indivisible?
The Reverend Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, was asked by a TV personality how a kind and loving god could allow such a thing as the devastating hurricane Katrina that ravaged the gulf coast a few years back. Her response was brilliant. She said something like: how can we expect God to be with us and protect us from evil when we tell Him we don't want Him here. We have ordered Him out of our classrooms, our government and our marketplace. How can we expect God's blessings when we otherwise ignore Him or mandate by law that He leave us alone?
The Christmas season is a good time to think about all of this. What are we celebrating? What is it all about? Do we want and need God in our lives, or can we really get along without Him? Where do we stand on this issue?
Christianity is under attack all around the world. In spite of what our president tells foreign audiences, America is a Christian nation and always has been. We have no need to apologize for that. Christmas is a Christian holiday. We should celebrate with pride, joy, and heartfelt thanksgiving.
I urge everyone to attend the church, synagogue, and yes, even the mosque of your choice this Christmas season and thank God for the bounty and the blessings of this nation and for the peace and comfort religion brings.
Our founding fathers knew and taught that only a moral and religious people can have freedom and self-government. When men cannot or will not discipline themselves by following the simple laws of God, they have need for tyrants and dictators to maintain public order.
I don't think we have gone that far, but we are close. We need to put religion back in our public and private lives.
Please join with me in celebrating the true meaning of Christmas this year.