And now, the last in our series of Christmas newsletters. Did you get yours out?
Dearest and Most Esteemed Friends:
It has indeed been an outstanding year. I hardly know where to begin.
As you know from your perusal of last year’s newsletter, my respected colleagues and I have studied the Hebrew Scriptures and found there a clear transcript of truth. In particular, the Messianic prophecies of Moses claimed our attention, and among these the words of Balaam: “A Star shall come out of Jacob; a Scepter shall rise out of Israel.”
We also became well acquainted with the prophecy of Micah: “But you, Bethlehem, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel.”
We also knew the prophecy of Daniel regarding the appearance of Messiah, and came to the conclusion that His coming was near.
Then things became urgent. A mysterious light appeared in the sky which became a luminous star persisting in the western heavens. Impressed with its import, my colleagues and I turned once more to the sacred scrolls. As we tried to understand the meaning of the revered writings, we determined to go in search of Messiah. I confess to you, I was not entirely convinced. Judea was a long and arduous journey, particularly if, in the end, it proved unfruitful. My friends, however, were determined. I knew that if I stayed behind and they were proven correct, I would regret it all my days.
Prior to our departure, we meticulously chose suitable gifts for Messiah. We settled on three: Gold, a gift for a king; Frankincense, the burning of which represents prayer. As it is used by priests, we decided it would indicate the priestly nature of Messiah. Myrrh, a fragrant perfume, used in embalming bodies. We discussed this particular gift at length. Would we offend the recipient? In the end, knowing its great value, we agreed anyone would feel honored to receive such a precious, costly gift. Everyone, after all, will die some time. Few will receive a royal burial.
The journey took months and I won’t burden you with the details of it except to say that the light continued to guide our path in the most remarkable manner. I knew then that I would not regret the sojourn.
As protocol dictated, we sought out King Herod upon our arrival in Jerusalem. We were gravely disappointed that he did not already know of Messiah’s coming. How could he not be aware of such a monumental occurrence? He did, however, appear most interested in what we had to say. His scholars confirmed their ancient prophecies pointed to Bethlehem as the place from which Messiah would come, so we continued on in that direction until the star reappeared.
This time, it led us directly to a house where it stopped and stayed. We did not know what to expect and I admit I felt more nervous than I had when approaching the king’s court. But to our delight, inside we discovered an ordinary Hebrew couple with a very young son. The man assured us that it was the boy, not he, whom we sought. We looked at one another in wonder. When we asked the time of the child’s birth, we knew the star had appeared to us the very night he was born.
My colleagues and I presented our gifts with deepest reverence, gratitude, and awe. This child would forever change our planet, our calendar, and our hearts. I feel so privileged to be alive at this time in human history and to see him with my own eyes. If I live to be a very old man, I will not encounter such an experience again and I am content. I can move into the future with renewed hope in my heart for all mankind, and I wish the same for you. I know that wise men and women will continue to seek him long after I am gone.
A wiser man than I was last year,