1. Lecture: I had not considered the possible origins of the star the Magi followed. Before studying last week’s lesson, I never noticed that the star actually began moving again after the wise men met with Herod. The various possible astronomical explanations do not account for the star’s movement and the fact that it stopped over the home in Bethlehem. The lecturer’s leaning toward the explanation of a manifestation of the shekinah glory of God brought a greater sense of the holy element of the scene described in Matthew. So awesome.
2. Notes: My intellectual side loved the natural phenomena that could have been the star seen by the Magi. My historical side was fascinated by the section entitled Herods of the Bible. I did not recall Peter was thrown into prison by another Herod. I am amazed at the details I have overlooked in previous readings of the same verses.
I did not recall hearing or reading how far Joseph and Mary traveled when they escaped to Egypt. 225 miles is a long journey even without a young child—especially when I consider they had no car, no major highways, no maps, no fast food restaurants, no laundromats, and no fellow travelers that we know of. In those days, that sounds so dangerous, difficult, and unpleasant. The tasks the Lord asks of me seem quite easy by comparison.
Of much greater importance is the section concerning the Magi’s worship. The place they worshiped was most certainly off the grid! People who knew little about this infant-king followed the only light of truth they had and are credited as our Lord’s first worshipers. I’m reminded of how little we (I)—who have access to numerous types of teaching materials as well as the opportunity to house the indwelling presence of God—actually spend worshiping Him. I am so convicted.