Here we are, the day after Christmas, and we’re counting down the days until we usher in a new year. Hopefully this means that Jesus Christ, the “Reason for the Season,” is at the forefront of all our celebrations with family and loved ones. This time of year we have more reason than ever to stand in awe of what God has done for each of us, individually and as a ministry effort Haiti.
We are excited to announce that Dave Young (Executive Director), along with Jan Ross (President of Heart of God International Ministries), will be interviewed by Bill Heid on “Off The Grid Radio” (OTG) this next week; the podcast will be aired on Friday, December 30th. Dave will be talking about what God has done throughout this past year in Haiti and how friends and partners like Bill Heid and OTG and, of course YOU, have made it possible to continue to impact the lives of children with the love of Jesus Christ–children who have been orphaned by the devastating earthquake in January 2010.
In order to introduce you to Bill Heid, Co-Host of OTG Radio and President/Founder of Solutions From Science, we’re honored to share an insightful article he wrote and distributed to his constituents this Christmas. We pray you will be inspired and challenged as you read, Troubled? Or Faithful Like The Wise Men by Bill Heid. And, don’t neglect to click the link at the end as Bill shares from his heart this Christmas in his article, Comfort and Joy.
Don’t Forget! Join us on Friday, December 30th, for the Heart of God Haiti podcast with Off The Grid Radio‘s Bill Heid…mark your calendar now!
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Troubled? Or Faithful Like The Wise Men
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 that 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 Jerusalem with him. (Matthew 2:1-3 KJV)
The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about the Wise Men. We know that they traveled a great distance, brought gifts of faith, and intended to worship the new born “King of the Jews.” Interestingly, of the Christmas cards my wife and I have received this year, the Wise Men show up more than any other Christmas theme. I love the story and appreciate the fact that these travelers from the East are a part of our culture.
But I’ve always been puzzled at the third verse in Mathew’s account. The word “troubled” here also gets translated as “agitated” by more than a few scholars. What’s odd here is that Herod assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people for a big ole prophecy conference, basically calling together the religious and political control-grid in Jerusalem at that time. Interestingly, they all had one thing in common: They all understood that the announcement of a new star, a rival power, was going to be a direct threat to their power, control, and way of life.
This threat seemed to trump any thoughts about the coming Messiah which was supposed to be so much a part of the hope of Jewish history. Think about it. You would expect this kind of troubled behavior from a knucklehead like Herod. Yet even before Christ’s birth, the phrase : “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14) was the operative thought pattern from the majority of “religious” people then as it was at the end of Christ’s life.
This is also the predominant attitude today by both Christians and non-Christians alike who echo the basic beliefs of the rulers and elders of Jerusalem in Herod’s day. It’s one thing to have the head knowledge of where the Messiah was to be born, as they seemed to have. It’s quite another to get on the first train to Bethlehem to worship him.
So enter three wise off-the-grid travelers from the East. I say off the grid because the wise men in question, as the text shows, were true believers like so many other “hidden ones,” who are often found in places we would least expect them to be. The Bible tells us that there are many such off-the-gridders (folks like Melchizedek), living in God’s grace way off the religious control grid.
But we learn further in this story that the faith of the Wise Men was great. They saw no miracles, heard no great teachings, saw no outward forms of power, yet traveled a great distance and worshiped a helpless baby born in a barn. You can read the Bible from one end to the other and not find greater faith than this. Mark this well. The faith formula for the Wise Men was simple yet profound: Walk in faith, confess him in hope, and be not ashamed of worshiping the Christ Child.
This is the kind of faith we’ll all need as America prepares to reap the results of the apostasy and unbelief we’ve sown. And yet we continually act more like the rulers and elders in Jerusalem than the faithful Wise Men. Even worse, much of America seems to have a vested interest in our current control grid and would be “greatly troubled” for similar reasons if the Messiah was born in a barn in Iowa today.
Yet a quick glance around reveals America is not only in decline, but headed for an outright collapse. So as we get ready to bring in 2012 with all its uncertainties, it’s important to remember that we’re not in this alone. The best news ever delivered under that new star is that the birth of our Lord provides our great assurance that we have help. He is now here. He is Immanuel, God with us, and in His grace, in faithfulness to His commandments, we can move confidently through the hard times ahead.
That’s the good news of this most blessed season.
P.S. For more on the “Comfort and Joy” that our current control-grid seems to hate so much click here.