Some people come to Jesus like the shepherds.
Out in the fields, minding their own business — and kablammo!  Something big happens!

Angels show up!  a huge angel choir!  Glory to God in the highest!  Life change in a moment!

The shepherds drop everything and run to Bethlehem, where they find the Christ-child lying in a manger.  They rejoice, celebrate and end up broadcasting the good news everywhere they go.
 

Glory!  Glory! Hallelujah!

Others come to Jesus like the wise men.

They see a distant star in the east and are puzzled by its appearing.  “What does this mean?”, they wonder.  After a long pondering, they begin a long, winding journey of faith.

It takes them quite a while to figure things out — with plenty of detours along the way.  But, eventually, they, too, end up in Bethlehem.

Departing, they did not cause a big scene like the shepherds –but had the experience of inner transformation as well (though of the “still waters” variety.)

I like the manger scenes where wise men and shepherds are all together at the manger.

Though most Bible scholars say otherwise, as a hopeless romantic, I imagine love to imagine it just like the Christmas cards.  I picture them kneeling before Jesus side by side:  rich and poor, wise men and shepherds, locals and tourists — all worshiping Jesus together!  It’s would be just like God’s timing to arrange it that way.

The important lesson here?  It doesn’t matter whether you are a shepherd or a wise man.  Shepherds aren’t better because they dashed dashed to Jesus.  Wise men aren’t better because they took a longer,
thoughtful, more reflective route.  The only thing that matters is that they both ended up worshiping Jesus in Bethlehem.

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