REPORTER: Good morning friends, and thanks for tuning into WJER’s Advent Update. Today’s special guest is Balthazar, one of the three Magi or Wise Men who are famous for delivering the very first Christmas presents ever to Baby Jesus. Mr. Balthazar, thank you so much for taking time to talk with us.
BALTHAZAR: It’s my pleasure, Carol. This time of year always brings back fond memories.
REPORTER: And what is your favorite memory of that first Christmas? Was it the long hard journey to Bethlehem? Or perhaps it was seeing the love Mary and Joseph had for their little son?
BALTHAZAR: All of those things were very special, but there was another critical moment on our trip that sticks out most clearly in my mind, even after all these years. We were passing through a small city called Sychar, and like most cities there was a market in the city center. We stopped to water our camels, and one of the traders offered us a whole wagon load of furs and wonderful wool blankets in exchange for the gold and frankincense we were taking to the Christ child. We had been through some very hard cold nights on our trip, and those blankets looked soooo good. People always think lots of heat when they think of deserts and camels. It’s hot out there in the daytime, but it gets very cold at night that time of the year.
REPORTER: And you’d been on the road for a long time, hadn’t you?
BALTHAZAR: Yes, almost two years. Jesus was a toddler and almost potty-trained by the time we found him. So we were getting discouraged, wondering if it was all a wild goose chase following that star. I was ready to buy those blankets and furs and get warm.
REPORTER: So what happened?
BALTHAZAR: Well, Caspar and I were ready to trade, but Melchior, the third magi proved he was the real wise one. He reminded us that this Christmas journey wasn’t about us, it was about Jesus. The gold and frankincense and myrrh were specifically meant for a new king, and our hearts would not have found peace until we delivered those special gifts to that special child. And do you know what? The star we were following was brighter and our travel easier after we made the choice to do what God had called us to do–instead of what was easier for us.
REPORTER: Thanks for sharing your story with us Balthazar. [Balthazar exits and Reporter walks to Advent Wreath]. Balthazar’s story is an important lesson for us. We find God’s true peace when we remember whose birthday it is, and do what God has called us to do. So, on this second Sunday of Advent, we light the candle of Peace as we sing, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”
[Written for worship at Jerome United Methodist Church, December 8, 2013]