Some two thousand years back, three Magi, somewhere in Persia, looked up to the sky and there observed a brilliant and most unusual star. This star seemed to penetrate their souls. As a result, they studied it night after night as they could not keep their eyes from it.
One night, one of the Magi said to the others, “It has moved.”
The one Magi pointed to the west. And there, now somewhat in the distance, was the star. The next few nights, it seemed to hold its position. And then, a week later, the Magi observed that it had once again moved westwardly, and somewhat southernly.
“An unusual route,” said one of the Magi.
“Perhaps we should follow it, to observe it more closely,” said another.
The three agreed. They called forth their servants to instruct them to pack the camels and donkeys for a road trip. Well stocked with provisions, the three scientific priests, for that is what the Magi were, left their town in Persia to head southwest and follow that most magnificent star. They did not know what they would find, but curiosity invades the senses of the inquisitive. Such curiosity must be satisfied.
As the Magi traveled slowly through deserts and over mountains, they gathered data on the star, and on the peoples they came into contact with. As they entered Arabia, they began to hear rumors of a special child.
“Where?” they asked.
“In Israel,” came the answer.
“How do you know the child is special?”
“Because, the king is looking for him.” The informant then whispered into the Magi’s ears.
“King Herod has put to death many boys, hoping to find and kill this child.
“Does the king think this child will take his place?”
The Magi had heard that King Herod was not liked by his people. So they thought it best to find the child. They determined to help him.
That night, as they sat around their campfire, a stranger approached them.
“The little boy that you seek is hidden away in a town not too far from here,” the stranger
said. He then pointed toward the south. In that direction, the Magi could see lights of a town glittering in the distance. When they turned back to the stranger, he was not there.
The next morning, the Magi headed toward the small town, which was located near the border to Egypt. As they enter the town’s outskirt, they felt the boy’s presence drawing them toward a hovel. When they entered the small house, they bowed in curtesy first to the mother, and then knelt down to the little boy who sat in the middle of the floor.
“What is his name?” the one Magi asked.
“Jesus,” his mother replied.
“He will not be a king of this earth,” a second Magi said.
“Agreed,” said the third.
“Take him into Egypt,” the first Magi said as he handed the mother several pieces of gold.
“And for your new home, here is myrrh,” said the second Magi as he handed a box to the mother.
“Here is frankincense. For your religious practices,” said the third.
“I thank you for your generosity,” the mother said.
That night, Magi camped near the town. Over the next few days they helped make arrangements for the family of the small Jesus child to get away into Egypt. When they had made good their escape, the Magi whispered their prayers to the Divinity to keep the small child, and his family, safe. For they knew, that in the future to come, the world would hear of the child.
“The star,” said the first Magi looking out over the Mediterranean Sea, “heads ever more west.”
It was a sign, the three decided, that the renown of the child would spread westward. Until all the people of the world had heard what the little boy, when he would grow up, had to say.