Then Herod secretly summoned the wise men and asked them the exact time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you find Him report back to me so that I too can go and worship Him.” Matthew 2:7-8 HCSB
I have been in full-time ministry for almost 40 years now and have served several local churches, the denomination (Missouri Baptist Convention), and LifeWay Christian Resources. I have seen many people select a church based on size, the programs offered, the pastor, and social or professional standing. I have also seen people leave a church for the same reasons. Some leave because they do not get what they want or disagree with the leadership in some way. What is your reason for going to church?
Herod did not want to go and worship Jesus. He wanted to find Him so he could have him killed. Even though our manger scenes include the wise men visiting Jesus at birth, we know that it was about one to two years after the birth of Jesus that the wise men arrived. By this time Mary and Joseph had established a home and were living in Bethlehem. We know that when Herod discovered that he had been tricked by the wise men when they did not return to him, he ruthlessly had all of the baby boys under two years of age in Bethlehem killed in his unsuccessful attempt to kill the “King of the Jews” who had been born there.
Challenge: Why are you going to church? Are you seeking to really worship Jesus or are you there for other reasons? Are you seeking your own political or personal gain or are you there to worship the King of the universe – Jesus Christ?