The words of the hymn of today, says "we have found Joy in a secret place." Yet my mind says how could it have remained secret, that is, the birth of Christ, when the star exposed the child hidden in a cave. It would have been like a giant flashlight focused on Mary, the Ever Virgin Mother of God, and Joseph her espoused husband, and Jesus lying in a manger.
It had to be kept a secret as Herod was in hot pursuit of the one who would come and overthrow his kingdom. So much so, that upon hearing of the King to be in the presence of a baby, he had many infants killed. The census would surely work at stopping any adult thought to be him, by searching any male that fit the bill according to the prophecy. Why did not Herod see the light, the one that the three wise men followed? Could it be that the light was not visible to all?
Another hymn answers the question for us. It says that the wise men were "taught by a star to know Thee" the Orient from on high. Clearly the wealthy, resourceful men, called wise, were eager to know who the king was, and were willing to travel at great expense and distance to go to him, prepared with their offering because they were sure that the babe that they were looking for, was the King of Kings, the long awaited One, the Saviour of us all.
We know that because they told Herod on their way, that it was He, a baby, that they were seeking. In their wisdom they did not go back to tell Herod that they infact, had found Him. Jesus was hidden from the heart of Herod, who was also seeking Him, but to destroy Him. Herod was close by, but never no matter how hard he tried, found Him.
It is clear that God invited those who He wished to be present at the birth of His son, Jesus. The lowly shepherds, and angels who glorified Him and the attendants who bathed the Christ child. Another hymn tells us that things in nature gave to Him in that secret place.
Jesus the pre-eternal God and creator of all things, Light of the world, enabled a star, (the uncreated light) to teach to the wise men, who the Son of God is, and where He was. All they had to do was come. That is what we are asked to do, come. Come and See!
The Light of the World, Jesus, extends to those who hear, an invitation to come to the stable. And like the wise men, who set the example for us to follow, Worship Him. They were never the same....and neither will you be.
For those who sat in darkness have seen a great light. He is the Light of World, to which the darkness cannot comprehend.
(1Cor 3:19) "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God"
Taken from the Orthodox Study Bible.
There is so much we do not really know or understand. We must therefore step forward with faith and with hope. May the joy and peace of Christ be with you all this Christmas season, and may you receive every good thing.
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