The air buzzed with excitement. The normally quiet and cavernous Shanghai International airport was electrified. Hundreds of giddy, ecstatic women congregated just outside the double doors of the customs exit where all international arrivals must pass.
There to meet two of my children flying in from the states, my driver, determined to help me to my “usual” front row spot, pushed me forward through the conundrum of a rather chaotic, but contained crowd. As I reached my destination nearer the exit doors, I found myself sandwiched in the mob of euphoric and elated fans. From this position, I quickly noticed many men wearing black suits and dark sunglasses lining the exit aisle like soldiers.
“Jeepers! What in the world is going on?” I marveled.
Obviously, someone important was arriving. I listened hard, but could not pick up on any recognizable names. Two young women jammed next to me were jointly holding a poster board. Dripping with curiosity, I leaned over, smiled and taking a stab in Mandarin asked, “Who is coming?”
Excitedly they shared. Unfortunately, I could not understand. Consequently, I asked to see their poster board. Pasted there was a magazine cut-out of a cute, young Asian rock star. My best guess? He was Korean. I smiled and replied, “Hao kan!” Meaning: “Good looking!” Enamored women all around giggled.
This was fun!
We all waited awhile longer. When in the twinkle of an eye, the many men in black suits grabbed hands and hurriedly rushed the star through the long corridor.
An euphoric explosion erupted.
A sea of high pitched screams simultaneously lunged forward. Things happened so quickly that I barely caught a glimpse of the celebrity. Quickly he was scooped away and the salivating sea of screaming fans passionately pursued their star. No joke! Had my driver not made his way behind me, I would have been pushed over and trampled by the crazed crowd. In less than a minute’s time, the rock star arrived and was escorted out with the high pitched screams exalting close behind.
A little disheveled, but utterly amused, I was left behind with a now clear, front row view of the double doors to await my children. This scene, forever etched into my long term memory, took place three years ago…
This is worship. Adoration. Drawing near to behold. An idol.
We all worship something. What am I chasing with comparable devotion?
I can’t help but wonder: Do I worship my One and Only with such fervor? Ought I seek Christ with such zeal? What would that look like?
Behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2: 1-2
No less fervent and zealous, the wise men supply a brief Scriptural peek at worship. Little is known about these “wise men” other than that they were from the east. The ESV Study Bible offers the following insight into their trek:
The wise men likely traveled with a large number of attendants and guards for the long journey, which would have taken several weeks. For example, if they had come from Babylon by the main trade route of about 800 miles, averaging 20 miles per day, the trip would have taken about 40 days. 
40 days to behold Jesus? To worship? I’d call this devotion.
This past week at my church, a wonderful group of women began unpacking this topic of worship. Following Linda Dillow’s Satisfy My Thirsty Soul, we’ve begun our own 12-week journey to more intimately behold Jesus.
In some ways, driving to The Chapel in Green hardly mirrors the travels of the wise men. And yet, as I listen to women share their various stories of joys and sorrows, perhaps our life journeys do reflect a trek to seek?
Convinced that a king had been born, the wise men headed west. Did every night bring clear skies to perfectly highlight the bright shining star? Somehow I doubt it. In shifting, drifting desert sands, surely there were ups and downs? Might not blowing sands sometimes obscure the view? Or doubts slither into inquiring minds?
And still these sojourners trekked. To seek. To draw near. To worship.
Devotion to behold. Dear friend, keep trekking.
Father God Almighty,
We praise You for Jesus, Light of the World. King of kings. Rock star of rock stars.
We praise You for Your promises. You promised captive Israel, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. ”
You desire our worship.
Lord, we all worship something. Yet, You desire to set Your people free. Thank you.
Thank You for being trustworthy. Thank you for faithfulness… even when we are unfaithful.
We praise You for knowing. Loving. Caring.
When our sight is obscured by desert sands, please clear the view. Pave the way and lead in that God like way You do.
On this journey, please grant us hearts of courage, of perseverance, to seek You with all of our heart.
Yes, Lord, may we live to seek, know, behold and worship You and You alone…
Prayer for others:
Lord God, like the wise men at Christ’s birth, may ______ seek after You with all of his/ her heart. Light up the way he/ she should go to draw near to You. Open eyes and open hearts to behold You and worship You.
We all worship something. What are you chasing with comparable devotion?
I can think of a number of things I’ve chased after: perfection, health, money, acceptance, approval… the perfect scarf!
How about you?
I’d love to hear from you!
Please consider joining me as I seek to know, behold and authentically relate to God through His Word. Praying through Scripture, I’ll offer simple prayers that praise and glorify His Name.
Together we’ll learn to fear not, behold Him and live with abiding joy.
 Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1822). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
Image from nextlevelworship.com