“But treat the Messiah as holy, as Lord in your hearts; while remaining always ready to give a reasoned answer to anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you – yet with humility and fear.” ~ 1 Peter 3:15
Of all the characters in the Christmas story, I think I’m most fascinated by the Magi – the mysterious men of wisdom who traveled many miles to worship and bring gifts to the Christ child. What was it that drew them to do such a faithful and extravagant thing? How did these strangers know he was worthy of glory and riches?
I believe it’s because they were looking for it.
These men were looking for hope, just as people today are looking for hope. And they aren’t just passively looking for it . Just like the Magi who traveled so far, they’re desperate for it. And many of us, with the best of intentions, try to beat people over the head with it. We tell them that Jesus is the reason for the season, which is true. But often we’re saying it as an opinion, like Jesus plays for our favorite football team. We’re not treating the Messiah as holy.
As Christians, we are literally walking around with hope inside of us. The Apostle Paul talked about “Christ within, the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27). For me, knowing that Christ lives inside my heart fills me with awe and wonder and reverence. It makes me want to live the rest of my life from that place. It makes me want to share him with others. And when I do share, I do so with that same sense of awe, wonder, and reverence.
This Christmas, instead of treating the holiday as another to do list to be checked off, let the mystery and holiness of Christ flow over into the rest of your life. Let that sense of awe and wonder and reverence overflow into everything you do. Others will begin to see the hope you have. They will ask you about it. Then you can (gently!) tell them where your hope comes from.
The Magi knew that the Messiah was worthy of glory, riches, and mystery. Wise men and women today are looking for the same thing, the same hope. Let’s be ready for them.