Today we come to the sixth letter of the Christmas song made famous by Jim Reeves, C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S. If you have been following this series, you already know I am looking a bit beyond the word used to identify the letter in the word Christmas in the lyrics. If you’re curious about the other letters before “T” and missed them, you can go back and check them out on my website.
When we consider the words beginning with “T” associated with Christmas, we can find a number of words that probably come to your mind. Here’s my list: tidings, tinsel, toboggan, toys, tradition, trees, trimmings, trips, and togetherness. In the song that creates the structure of this series “T” stands for three wise men (sometimes referred to as three kings).
This visit of the wise men, magi, or kings as they have variously been called shifts the scene from Luke’s narrative of the shepherds in the fields and the angelic host. The scene of the wise men actually occurs later because scripture points to Joseph, Mary, and Jesus being in a house in Bethlehem when they arrive, not the manger where the shepherds visit. The exact length of time is something that scholars debate even as they do who they were specifically and their origin.
What are some of the things that make their part of the story of Christmas significant?
The first thing to note is they followed a strange star that some now suggest may have been a comet or an asteroid of some sort. The second clear statement in scripture is that they came from a distance to worship Him. Wow! That makes evident they recognized He was of great importance and worthy of worship and a long trek to get there.
Some had thought these wise men were astrologers or astronomers. They also surmise these were men of position. What is interesting to remember is that Matthew’s gospel where the account appears does not say there were three of them. Tradition passed on by songs, poems, and art has shown three, but that may have been related to the number of gifts (3) presented (gold, frankincense, and myrrh). Their standing or position may also be deduced because these gifts were things that were costly and could not have been afforded by poor men.
Consider those gifts for a moment.
Gold was not only costly, but may have been considered for its purity and to connect with His royal kingship. Frankincense was expensive and still can be. Its uses included incense and could represent the fragrance of the life of Christ. Most interesting of all was myrrh, a spice used in embalming. It seems certain these wise men did not go to the local bazaar and pick up random gifts. These appear to be thought out and be representations of their awareness of the person they hoped to see.
What data we do see suggests the men were Gentiles. Scholars speculate about their origin perhaps being northeast of Babylon, Arabia, or Mesopotamia.
But let’s pause and consider that experts believe these men who were studying and watching the stars in the heavens saw several conjunctions of Jupiter, a planet considered to represent kingship, along with Saturn and Mars. Some go on to theorize God may have organized the whole solar system and universe in a way that would signify the birth of Jesus. Because stars and planets naturally travel from east to west across the heavens, others wonder if the “star” these wise men saw and led them to a specific house in Bethlehem was the Shekinah glory of God, the same one that led the children of Israel through the wilderness.
Whatever the facts are these are fascinating things to consider beyond simply singing about the “three wise men who came from afar” or “three kings of the Orient.”
What impacts me even above all of these is that these men were seekers of Jesus and not casual ones at that. They must have been students of not only the stars and planets and their meanings, but of prophecies they read about even if they represented a people and culture that were not their own. They were intentional and serious about their deductions as corroborated by traveling a great distance and the choices of gifts. They were wise as well because when Herod asked them to point him to where the child was, they did not comply and instead followed God’s warning in a dream not to return to Herod.
The truth of their seeking reminds me of Jeremiah’s words in Jeremiah 29:13-14a (ESV):
13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord…”
As Judith Kunst says in The Burning Word: “Turn it and turn it again,” the Talmud says of the scriptures, “for everything is contained therein.”
When I reflect on all these things, I am provoked to consider the value of study and seeking the Lord even as a believer. Both Old and New Testament passages repeat the admonition to seek the Lord, it signals that I am to be intentional in my pursuit of my relationship with Him.
New Testament passages that come to the forefront are:
Matthew 7:7-8 (ESV)
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Luke 12:31 (NASB)
“But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 13:44-46 (ESV)
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
There is an old adage that says, “Wise men still seek Him.”
In the midst of the trappings of Christmas, will we take time to still seek Him?
11 thoughts on “T is For… Seekers”
Pam, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas filled with many blessings! Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful series with us and for joining my link parties. I wish you all the best in the coming year.
Thanks, Shelbee! Our 2 adult children and all 6 grandchildren (3 of whom are young adults and single) were all able to come home for about 48 hours the weekend before Christmas and then we traveled to our daughter’s in MD for Christmas and a couple of days after. (WE were so grateful to be able to make the trip with my hubby’s recent back issues.) Will be looking for you soon!💕
Lovely thoughts! Thank you for sharing this with us on Farm Fresh Tuesdays! I can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to for the last couple of weeks!
Thanks, Lisa!! I will be checking back tomorrow to see what you have going on!😊
Pam – What a great series. You have inspired me to shut my computer down and go seek the Lord. Thank you.
Thanks, Maree! That is a great affirmation💝
I love this series, Pam, and I especially love this thought, “God may have organized the whole solar system and universe in a way that would signify the birth of Jesus.” Wouldn’t it be just like Him to do such a thing!!! What a beautiful thought! Thanks for bringing that to our attention today.
Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
I can’t even imagine dropping everything, grabbing my GPS, filling the gas tank, and taking off in search of some unseen, promised spiritual leader or even the fulfillment of prophecy. My feet are glued to the next day’s calendar square-full of duties and responsibilities. May God shake us up via the example of these faithful ones who traveled far to feast their eyes on God’s rescue plan. And may he rescue us from our small preoccupations.
Thank you for this lovely, insightful post!
What refreshing truth as I aim to fix my eyes on Jesus these next weeks! Thank you for this, Pam!
Thanks so much, Stacey! This series has been one prompted by the Lord for me to be looking beyond the tinsel and trappings in all areas. Have a blessed day as you fix your eyes on Him!🎄⭐️