The men from the east may have been wise in the way of stars but they were not so smart when dealing with kings. You don’t ask a king where his replacement has been born, especially if the boy wasn't born to the queen in the palace. By all accounts Herod had a paranoid personality and the question puts him in self preservation mode (something he has done very well in the past) and all of Jerusalem is scared of a frightened Herod. The babes in Bethlehem have more to fear. They just don’t know it yet. But Rachael's wailing won't happen until the wise men give their gifts to the baby who escapes and the wise men being warned in a dream depart by the back door. In many ways it is a very human story, not like the angels we have heard on high that the shepherds see. Astrologers seeing planets line up in a new way are driven to investigate and naively ask people in power questions that should not be asked which almost always leads to bloodshed for the little and the lowly. It’s not a very merry Christmas story when you think of it that way but then God chose to enter the life of the world as a baby with no home and a king with no throne. That the wise men would worship a poor child in a no account town means they trusted the signs in the heavens and believed someone or something wanted them to follow. Either way the sign in heaven led them to a place on earth where God could be found. We are signs on earth that point to a place in heaven that is at its best a vision for all people of perfect peace and irresistible love that makes angels sing and wise folk rejoice.