Matthew 2:2 (ESV)
Saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
The wise men upon their arrival in Jerusalem after Jesus was born asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Yes, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of the King of Kings. It’s also a special time to worship this newborn king.
One favorite carol we sing every year calls us to worship. This carol is possibly the best-written, sacred Christmas carol of all time. The carol was written by an Irishman who tragically lost his missionary parents at a young age, flunked out of seminary and became a baker’s assistant. By the age of twenty this man was little more than a vagrant, moving from job to job, often unemployed, and homeless for weeks at a time.
In the early 1800’s James Montgomery finally got paid to do what he most loved to do – write stories for a newspaper. He was also learning firsthand about the hardships of being an Irishman under English rule. Montgomery began to write fiery editorials against the English. At the same time, he began to read his Bible in an attempt to understand the power that motivated his parents lives and ultimately led to their deaths.
As he read the Bible, James Montgomery had a change of heart. This change was revealed in an editorial he wrote in poetic form that was published on Christmas Eve 1816. The poem told the story of angels proclaiming the birth of a Savior for all people, English and Irish, rich and poor….
The poem was eloquent, beautiful and scripturally sound. This changed Irishman soon touched more lives for Christ with the stroke of his pen than his parents did in all their years of missionary work. The poem was titled “Nativity”. God obviously had his hand on Montgomery’s work. Twenty years after it was written, Henry Smart, one of England’s finest organists and composers, somehow discovered the poem. Inspired by the wisdom, power, fire, and beauty he saw in “Nativity,” Smart composed a tune to go with the poem. Today we sing this carol written by an Irishman and put to music by an Englishman, “Angels, From the Realms of Glory.”
God had his hand on the wise men as they searched for the newborn King. He had his hand on an Irishman and an Englishman, and he has his hand on you. Are you looking for Jesus? If you don’t know where to find him do as the wise men did. Ask someone. And when you find him worship the newborn king.
Dear Lord, help us to seek after You this Christmas season. We pray that we will be able to lead someone to the King this Christmas season. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.