Can you believe we are only a few weeks away from Christmas? Many of us are ready to celebrate the reason for the season — the birth of Christ. As we look over the stories of the birth of Christ, we also think about the story of the three wise men and the gifts they brought to honor the infant king.
But have you ever heard about the fourth wise man? No, you say? Well, let me tell you about this special wise man.
First, let’s recall the adventures of the wise men. They saw a new star and got ready for the long trip to find the newborn king. Of course, they started the journey with their gifts, eventually arriving in Bethlehem after the birth of Christ.
But there was a fourth wise man, who decided to stay behind. Later, he had a change of heart and decided he should also make the journey. So, he got ready and started out, following the star. He hurried to see if he could catch up with the other wise men — but they were long gone.
So, the journey for the fourth wise man was a bit lonely. Along the way, he came across a person who was very much in need of food, so he shared what he had. Then he started out again. This time, he found someone who was injured and needed medical help — so he took that person to a place to get help, and he spent some time with that person. He paid for medical supplies and told the healers to take care of him.
Once again, he started out, following the star. He came to a well and got water for his journey, but he also assisted a woman at the well who needed help drawing water. He told her he was following the star to find the newborn king, and again, continued on his journey, always stopping to help those in need.
Finally, he came to the stable where Christ was born — but years had passed. The shepherds told him the family had left several years ago, but to ask about them in Bethlehem. When he inquired about the holy family, he was told they had possibly gone to Nazareth.
So, the fourth wise man made the journey to Nazareth, where he learned the baby had grown to manhood. His name was Jesus, and he was with a group of 12 others, traveling and preaching in different places.
Oh, how that wise man longed to hear the king, and oh, how he tried to find him. Then he heard that Jesus had been arrested and was to be crucified as a criminal.
Now, the journey became more intense, and he pressed forward. However, his journey ended at the cross, as Jesus was dying. As the fourth wise man gazed up, he cried out, “Oh, I missed him! Oh, I missed him!”
As soon as he said those words, the star he had been following grew brighter, and he felt a gentle arm around him. He felt the warmth of a touch he couldn’t explain and heard a voice saying, “No, you didn’t miss me. Remember the folks you shared your food with? Well, you fed me. Remember the medicine you gave to help someone get better? You did that to me. Remember the coat you gave so unselfishly to someone who was cold? You wrapped me in the warmth of it. You never missed me. You were on a journey with me.”
Do you see where you, as a trucker, fit in to the story as the fourth wise man? You are the one who has carried the loads of food, clothing, fuel and other life-saving necessities for all of us. Every dock and every store to which you’ve supplied goods to on your journey across the country makes you that fourth wise man.
You’re not missing Jesus while on the road; instead, you’re caring for his flock here on earth. Your journey is important. Never think your journey isn’t a way of following God’s will. You are following the star, just as those ancient wise men did. God bless your journey, and keep following your star. Merry Christmas.
Best of the roads and all gears forward in Jesus,
Rev. Marilou Coins