We study the stars. We note when new stars appear. Their position in the sky, the constellations they are a part of, their interaction with the planets. The night the star appeared, we took note. It outshined all the others, even the moon. It remained constant, always in the same place, unlike the other stars who dance across the night sky. When dawn approached, and the star did not fade, we knew this was no ordinary star, but a sign from the cosmos that something big was about to happen that would change the world. We consulted our records, never had there been anything like this. We then consulted other sources trying to figure out what was happening. Finally we found a prophecy in the Jewish Septuagint stating that a Star would arise out of Jacob, and a king shall arise out of Israel. This could only mean that this was the star of the prophecy.
We gathered our supplies and headed west, towards Israel to meet this king.
Upon arrival in Israel, we went to the place where we expected a king to be, the palace in Jerusalem. What we found at the palace was King Herod, the ruler of the Jews as appointed by the Roman government, who answered to the governor stationed in Capernaum. We asked if he knew about any newborn king of the Jews, since there was obviously no child to be seen. Herod was most helpful; he called the chief priests and Jewish scholars together to get this information. However, he seemed really uncomfortable discussing the topic with us. We were told that the child was to be born in Bethlehem. Herod at this point invited us to return to him when we had found the child so that he too could go to him.
As we traveled the star stayed put, almost as if guiding us to the child. When we reached Bethlehem, the star played a game of hot and cold with us the closer we got the brighter the star became and likewise the farther we got the dimmer the star became. When we finally found the child each of us bowed and offered a gift, which we realized later must have seemed morbid to his parents. One was a gift of Gold, something that any king would have wanted. The other two gifts, Frankincense and Myrrh, however, were extremely expensive and were used mainly for burial rituals.
As we left Bethlehem to return to King Herod, we stopped to rest for the night. The next morning we discovered we had all had the same dream, an angel warning us not to return to Herod. His intentions were not only to visit, but to kill the child, thus securing his reign over the Jews. We changed course and decided to head home by a different route than we had come from.
It was years later when news reached us of what had happened as a result of that decision. Herod had ordered all boys under the age of two within the Bethlehem area to be slaughtered. We wondered if the child and his parents had escaped the carnage. There was no way to find out.
Fifty years had passed when those who were left from the journey received news of an uproar in the Roman Empire. A new way of thinking was spreading like wildfire. They called themselves the Way and followed the teaching of a man who claimed to be the Son of God. The Romans had crucified their leader twenty years earlier, yet only three days later, his followers claimed that he had risen from the dead and forty days after that ascended into heaven, promising to return. They claimed that He offered a new way to salvation, a new covenant for all people, even those whom the Jews called Gentiles. We could not help but wonder if the man who followers of the Way described was none other than the child we had visited so many long years ago.