Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Story of the Other Wise Man

Henry van Dyke was an American, not English. Sigh. He wrote the lyrics to the song "Joyful, Joyful, we adore Thee", one of the songs that were sung on my wedding day. How I stumbled upon his books is amazing. I had been wondering what had happened to the shepherds who saw the angel announcing the birth of Jesus and heard the multitude of angels singing praise to God and visited baby Jesus in Bethlehem.

Luke 2:17,18
"When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

The shepherds must have been still alive when Jesus was 30 but Jesus did not grow up in their neighborhood (He grew up in Nazareth) so the shepherds could not have observed Jesus growing up. It seemed disappointing that after witnessing such a wonderful sight, things sort of fell silent again (just like how so many in the world reject Jesus today) but I rejoiced as the bible reminded me of the buzz surrounding the birth of Jesus. Simeon and Anna were thrilled to catch a glimpse of baby Jesus back in Jerusalem (Luke 2:25-40). King Herod had later ordered for the death of all male babies below the age of 2. Even the magi from the east (who were pagans) were searching as they asked "Where is the one who was born the king of Jews? We saw his star and have come to worship him" (Matthew 2:2).

As I searched, I discovered that Daniel, hundreds of years before Jesus was born, was highly respected by the magi during King Nebuchadnezzar's time (Daniel 2:1-19). The lives of the wise men were spared because he could interpret the King's dream with God's help and Daniel went on to become one of the 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom under King Darius and even became one of the three administrators OVER the satraps! As I dug on, I came across a fiction ''The Story of the Other Wise Man" which helped me piece bits together to the time when Jesus was crucified on Calvary. What a wonderful Christmas story and all on audio too! Marvelous! What started out as so frustrating two days ago became so rewarding this morning. I thank you Lord for leading me to through this search and to this christmas story.

"You know the story of the Three Wise Men of the East, and how they travelled from far away to offer their gifts at the manger-cradle in Bethlehem. But have you ever heard the story of the Other Wise Man, who also saw the star in its rising, and set out to follow it, yet did not arrive with his brethren in the presence of the young child Jesus? Of the great desire of this fourth pilgrim, and how it was denied, yet accomplished in the denial; of his many wanderings and the probations of his soul; of the long way of his seeking, and the strange way of his finding, the One whom he sought—I would tell the tale as I have heard fragments of it in the Hall of Dreams, in the palace of the Heart of Man. (Summary written by Henry van Dyke.)"

Listen here: The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke. Read by David Leeson.

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