What matters? What lasts? What defines us? These are questions that to some extent we have all probably asked ourselves at some time or another. Our answers are varied. They are, however, revealed in the actions and choices that we make.
Every generation, every subgroup of each generation will all attempt to answer the above questions. We have a strong fallacy though in that we often attempt to answer those types of questions in light of our current circumstances. Several hundred years before Jesus’ birth a prophet summed it up in this way; do justice (act fairly), love mercy (care for others), and walk in humility before God.
Jesus’ way of answering that question can be found in a few different places and he sums it up with this phrase; love God completely, and love your neighbor as yourself. The word love there is not describing an emotion that is independent of everything else, but rather a pattern of behavior that reveals what we value. Embrace God; his presence, his goodness and his authority. Embrace your neighbor; their intrinsic value, their reflection of Gods image, and our need for each and every one of them.
This was the lifestyle of the mysterious Magi. More than one man had lent themselves to a belief in a God who was able to order the planets and stars. They were willing to bet their life on this. More than one man believed in their love for fellow man that they were willing to risk life and luxury for the opportunity to welcome a new baby to the world.
May we be such people.