Tim Throckmorton: Finding a path to the Lord is a serious proposition

Published 6:00 am Sunday, December 12, 2021

I do love a good commercial.

One of my favorite Christmas commercials from the past is one with a little girl that is encouraged by her mom to go to sleep.
Sheepishly, she says, “All in favor of looking at some more toys in the new Christmas catalog raise your hand.”

Just then, the camera pans to the shelves in her room filled with stuffed animals, all with their little hands raised high! You gotta love kids.

Kids are so cute, but adults dream at Christmas time as well.

It may not be a toy catalog that enamors us, but our pace slows a little as we drive by car dealerships and walk past jewelry store windows.

Shopping will preoccupy much of our time between now and the 25th of December.

Looking for just the right gift is something we are all consumed with right about now.

Wishful thinking in regard for Christmas is one thing, but when it comes to life and eternity it’s a serious proposition.

Listen in to Matthew’s account of the Christmas story, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, where is he that is born King of the Jews?

For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, and thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.” Let’s take a closer look at this familiar story of some folks that were looking for something very special.

I notice that “something out of the ordinary” was what first drew them to the Savior?

It often works that way. Something gets our attention. Something out of the ordinary happens in our lives.

Something occurs and we are aware more than ever of our circumstances. But it doesn’t stop there.

Let’s notice the next step for this band of searchers.

They were then directed to the “scriptures” as they stopped in Jerusalem for directions.

Often God gets our attention through a series of events or even tragedies.

Then when confronted by the scriptures, we begin to find some true direction and insight to what life is all about.

The sign led them to the scriptures and the scriptures would lead them to Bethlehem.

Allow me to pause and interject that many get derailed at this point and go no further.

Many get close to Jesus this time of year, but never truly get to know the baby from Bethlehem.

Going only as far as Jerusalem, when Bethlehem and the Savior are just a short distance away.

Let’s go a little farther with this group of travelers and find that when they finally found the king that was born, they left a different way!

That’s my favorite part of the story.

When we come to into a personal relationship with Jesus we are blessed to leave that experience in a completely different way.

In December 1903, after many attempts, the Wright brothers were successful in getting their “flying machine” off the ground.

Thrilled, they telegraphed this message to their sister, Katherine: “We have actually flown 120 feet. Will be home for Christmas.”

Katherine hurried to the editor of the local newspaper and showed him the message.

He glanced at it and said, “How nice. The boys will be home for Christmas.”

He totally missed the big news that man had flown!

This Christmas don’t miss the big news by looking for the wrong thing in the wrong place.

Seek this gift and you’re sure to find it!

What are you looking for?

Tim Throckmorton is the national director of Family Resource Council’s Community Impact Teams.