“behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do Him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.'” (Matthew 2.1a-6)

Destination Of The Magi

Jerusalem’s a citadel:
Of strength, of pride, of pomp, of place;
But Bethlehem’s an empty shell —
A dusty town of little grace.

With trumpet blast and drumroll flare,
They’re welcomed to the palace gates;
In dead of night, beneath a star,
A Virgin with her Child waits.

The priests proclaim He will be king —
Herod’s unsettled by these words;
The Magi find the Babe lying
In hay, hidden among the herds.

“When you find Him, return to me;
That I may pay Him homage too.”
The Magi went another way —
Humility does that to you.

Jerusalem’s in ev’ry heart:
Life’s played according to our plan
Unfolding success from the start —
A city built alone by man.

But Bethlehem’s a dusty place;
It lies beyond the city gates.
The wilderness is filled with grace —
It’s there that our Messiah waits.

Holy Spirit, guide us beyond the pride of our own plans to the place of our poverty, that we may encounter the Infant Jesus in the fullness of His grace. Amen.

(c) Paul Buis, 2008