Have you ever done a scavenger hunt? I like the imagination, work, creativity, skill and planning that it takes to pull off a challenging and successful scavenger hunt. It’s fun to create these adventures and it can be even more fun to participate in such an escapade. If you’ve ever been the designer for a scavenger hunt, you know the importance of considering who will be doing the hunting, along with their skill sets, some of their thought processes and willingness to go the extra mile.
Similar to the concept of a scavenger hunt, a treasure hunt can be all the more alluring for the simple reason that a “treasure” could be the outcome of the hunt. Maybe in some way, God created a “treasure hunt” for the wise men when they set out to find “the King of the Jews,” as we read about in Matthew 2.
These wise men (or magi) were interesting people. Theologians say that these men came from some place east of Bethlehem, from the region of modern day Iraq, Iran or maybe Yemen. Such “magi” were highly esteemed, in their day, for their study and expertise with astronomy. The fact that they saw the star in the east to indicate the King of the Jews is really noteworthy.
I say this because God illuminated this star as a sign to be recognized by these “wise men” or astronomers. God gave them a clue and helpful guidance to motivate them to go on the treasure hunt of their life, to find Jesus, the incarnate God and ultimate treasure for our entire human search for genuine love, meaning and fulfillment. It’s all the more powerful to consider that God gave them a sign, a star in the east, something that would catch their attention since they were astronomers.
In essence, God sent these wise men / astronomers on a treasure hunt, giving them a guiding star along the way to find the solution to the chasm in every human heart – Jesus. Thinking about God creating a treasure hunt for these wise men gives me pause to consider the ways in which God structures my life to discover, experience and look for Jesus.
To this end, I appreciate that Christmas is an annual event, a yearly treasure hunt of sorts. May we allow Christmas to remind us every year of some very essential truths and piers for our human existence:
- Jesus is the ultimate treasure in our human search for genuine love.
- God sent Jesus, His only beloved Son, into human existence from the singular motive of genuine love.
- Jesus entered human existence just like all of us, through birth and doing the growing up experiences that each human endures.
- Jesus’ common birth was punctuated with divine accents, causing His birth to have some distinctions that make His entrance worthy of grateful reflection.
In our efforts to celebrate Christmas this year and give meaningful gifts this year, let’s remember the magi and their treasure hunt for Jesus! They brought Jesus gifts in reaction to finding the greatest treasure to ever enter human existence – the human expression of genuine love!
“For unto us a Son is given!” Isaiah 9:6