Where Will You Find the King

Are you lookin'? Are you gonna be lookin'… for a Savior in your life… this New Year? Will you turn your eye upon Jesus? Will you go to the stable, or to the house where he grew up? Will you follow him along the shoreline or up into the hills, or down into the valley, or even up that last high hill? Where will you find the king you seek? And how will you know when you've found him? Sometimes the evidence is pretty much up in the air. After all, even the magi, the wisemen, were dependent on the stars in the sky. Maybe folks were better sky-watchers in that day than in this. Without the Hubble Telescope they witnessed what we call Haley's comet cross the sky in 11 B.C. Somewhere around the year 7 B.C. Saturn and Jupiter conjoined to form what some still say was the Christmas Star. Between 2 & 5 Sirius, the Dog Star, rose at sunrise and shone with a stunning brilliance. Maybe this was it. Besides, it happened in the Egyptian month of Mesori, meaning the birth of a prince! No wonder it was said that people and things were looking up in those days. But that was then and this is now. Have we any better evidence today than a star in the sky? Any surer signs of where to search for our savior and king?

We can offer the testimony (the Scripture) of those he has touched. We are not confined to the midnight meanderings of the stars. We have the real and tangible record of those he has touched, this Jesus, this Christ anointed, this Son of God. There were those who sought him, just like us, who got more than they ever expected. The magi were on a mission. Find the newborn king. They were as daring and deliberate as some of us who've left all that was familiar behind. They left their homes, their fortunes, their security. We, our habits, false hopes, and phony sense-of-control.
They were blown away by what they found. And so they turned and went home in a new direction. If you're one of those believers who can name the date and day of your conversion, you know exactly what this means! There were those who came upon him just because they had a life-long habit of placing themselves as near as they could to the holy. Not long from 8 days old, Jesus is dedicated. Old Simeon is there. "Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen the salvation of Israel," he adores. At 12, Jesus is in the Temple with the doctors and the lawyers, and they are amazed at what they see and hear. Here are folks who spent a lifetime constantly seeking to put themselves in the presence of the holy. Seeking to, "Draw near with faith and take this holy sacrament to [their] comfort," as we often say at the Lord's Table. Maybe everybody can't be as daring as the magi, as called out as the converted. But all of us can develop the habit of nearing the holy by attending to the Word and the worship of God. There were those who came to him in need and went away in wonder. The blind, the lame, the leper, and more. Anybody here come limping in today, on your feet or in your heart? Anybody so angry they can't see straight? So cut off from somebody, everybody, you feel like a leper? Jesus can make you right again. Make you new. And we'll all be in wonder, just like long ago. Now, all these kinds of folks came away never-the-same-again. And all were prepared to tell the world, to tell us, "He is the One." Isn't there somebody you'd like to tell?

Oh, we can offer the company (the fellowship) of those he has gathered. That's where we'll find the King! The living witness to Jesus is the church. It is the place where he can still be found and where he is still alive. True we know the story. We can sing like that ancient king, "Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom; sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in a stone cold tomb." Right about here's where the world… stops singing. But we in the church know there's one more verse. "Glorious now behold him arise; King and God and sacrifice: Alleluia, Alleluia, sounds through the earth and skies." Only those who know and love Jesus can truly lift this song. And it is the church that does the singing! We don't need astrology or astronomy, astrophysics or telescopes in orbit to catch a glimpse of the One, the only One, born to save us from our sins. We can come and sit and stand and study and play and sorrow and sing… in the very company of those who can bear witness to him from first hand knowledge! Know that, and you know why church is important, and continuing to renew this church our sacred calling. Stars are deaf, dumb and blind. But you can go and talk to Rachael Knoll about what the Lord can do. Or Everette Jordan. Or Ellen McCreary or Mary Kruise. Or 400 others here who've come to know him. And could it not be, that someone is waiting to hear from you? Will you be only a star? Or will you be a star witness? The church can help you, by showing you the way.

We can offer the caring (the outreach) of those he's empowered. From the earliest days, the most winning witness of those who have seen and known our Jesus has been what they have done in his name. From the magi who walked a different path home to the disciples who tramped the world with his gospel, believing has always meant walking. "If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." (I John 1: 5) We live in a new way. Hands will also be required. "See how they love one another," the world first said of the church. "In as much as you have done it unto the least of these…" has always been the Lord's word ringing in our ears. We have always known it was the Good Samaritan who was the hero of the heart in Jesus' story. Celestial surprises may lead the magi to the cradle. But in a world where wisemen are so hard to come by, it takes loving hands and lifting arms to lead people to the Savior of the cross and the empty tomb. CAP is evangelism at work. The Heifer Project we announced last week is Christian Education that wins souls while it feeds the hungry. Giving a ride to an elder who needs one is like writing a verse of Scripture with your life. The question for us is not, "Are there stars in the sky to lead the way to the Savior?" The question is, "Are there lives among us worth following in search of this King who saves?" The question is, "Is yours or mine such a life?"

You and I will both have an unrepeatable opportunity with somebody this week. We can offer the testimony of those our Lord has touched. 'The fellowship of those he has gathered. 'The outreach of those he's empowered. Somebody will come to you in search of the King this week. Will you send them home a new way, or leave them just to go away as they came?

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