This reading from Matthew reminds us that even at the beginning of his life, foreigners were able to recognize his importance--and, persons in power felt threatened by him.
Some scholars were studying, as they had been studying, the sky when they observed a rising star. This startling phenomenon indicates to them that a new king has been born in Jerusalem. These wise men, perhaps from Persia, maybe Arabia, are compelled by their discovery to try to find out more. They journey to Jerusalem.
There, they seek out Herod the Great who had been appointed King of the Jews by the Roman Senate several decades earlier. He does not welcome the idea of a competitor to his power.
Here's a portion of a prayer for Epiphany from Richard Einerson's Prayers of the People, a lectionary-based prayer guide:
... Be in all of those places where people seek like the Magi to journey to find Jesus, child of hope. Be with all who follow the bright stars of their lives...Be with all who live with the threats of reprisal, persecution, or danger because of their beliefs. Be with all leaders and temper their power with justice and love for people. O God, may the tragedies of the past not be repeated. May there be peace and good will among all people and may their journeys through life not be interrupted by tyrants. Amen.