During the Christmas season, we often see figurines of the “Wise Men,” or Magi, who traveled to meet Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 2:1-12.
Kimberly discovered our family’s favorite nativity set in Poland 15 years ago. Now, every year in the Peters’ home, three rotund wise men (although the Bible never says how many Magi there were), and their two fluffy camels, slowly travel around our home in search of Jesus. They encounter sofas, tables, and even traverse the tops of our kitchen cabinets.
Even though it is likely the historic “wise men” didn’t make it to Jesus until he was nearly two years old, the tradition is to march wise men toward the manger scene during Advent.
What made these men “wise?” We don’t know many details, but we know they were scholarly men, famous for studying the stars. They were definitely adept at navigation (coming from as far as Persia—850 miles!) and were exposed to ancient texts (possibly Daniel’s book, or Balaam’s prophecy in Numbers 24:17) that referred to a “star coming out of Jacob.”
One thing is clear: They were wise because they listened carefully to others who had more knowledge and life experience than they did.
As I reflect on nearly five and a half years as CEO of Hope Haven Rwanda, my mind is flooded with memories of amazing teachers. They truly are the heart of our mission!
We also have many impressive volunteers who freely share their experience and expertise. In this week’s video, you will see Rob, an Industrial Designer, who has generously served our community. Rob has invented a variety of interesting—and truly life-saving—products. Our students were treated to a fascinating STEM lecture about the product development process. His lecture was intriguing for all of us!
Listening to the experience of others is one surefire pathway to wisdom. This year, we taught Hope Haven students a little ditty, based on Proverbs 19:20, where we read (or sing): “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.”
One of the foundational lessons we are teaching our Hope Haven Christian School students is to listen to advice. Life is better when we seek wise counsel! The Bible is filled with exhortations to listen to the perspectives of those who have journeyed before you. Another Proverb that captures this sentiment is found in 12:15: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
This Christmas Season, will you be considered a “wise” person? The path to wisdom is clear. Ask God to surround you with people who inspire you, who are a little further down the path of life and who demonstrate deep insights into life and love. Then, sit at their feet and see what you can glean!