“Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.” (Matthew 2:7-12) The birth narratives are some of the best-known portions of the Bible for many of us. That can make them dangerous in that we tend to fill in the gaps in the story. For instance, we don’t know that there were three magi, only that there were three gifts and so on. So having said that, I’m about to do a little speculating myself. There was actually a fourth gift that the magi gave our Lord. That, of course, was themselves (or at least their futures.) How so, we might ask? They must give themselves away in that they side with the baby rather than Herod. Now what we do know about magi is that they were courtiers. That is they made their money by pleasing and flattering kings and queens. They must have had money to bring the costly gifts. But now here they are, having met Jesus, they must make a decision. The decision that they make is to go against their inclinations to please royalty and side with the little one. I have always loved the conclusion to their story: “they left for their own county by another road.” Isn’t that always the way with Jesus? We meet him and suddenly we really can’t make the decisions that we used to make. We meet him and we must travel different roads. How about you in 2019? What old way may you need to give away? What new path may you need to walk? Do not be afraid, it may be a different road, but we are still following the same Savior; who even when he was an infant began changing lives. Have a great week!