December 23 - Magi
Imagine you are going on a long journey to visit someone who has had a new baby. What things might you need for the journey and what gifts for the new family would you take?
Mary Hoffman’s book is beautifully written and illustrated and helps us to think about the man Jesus grew up to be
“Where is the new born king of the Jews?” was the question that really bothered King Herod. He knew there was no royal baby and was keen to know about this possible rival, and so he questioned his visitors. These visitors were foreigners who were experts in astronomy and their observations suggested that there was indeed a new king and they had been tracking a special star. After a detailed search through the scrolls and the records the king was told that Bethlehem was a likely place to look and so he sent them off to check.
It seemed that the star stopped right where the small family were living and the exotic travellers were delighted to meet them. They had brought three very special gifts, gold, a gift for a king, frankincense, a gift for a priest (remember Zechariah) and a third very odd present for a child. It was myrrh, a special substance used to prepare a body for burial, perhaps a symbol that this child, Jesus, when he grew up was to be killed. Tradition has suggested that there were three Magi, or wise men, and that they rode camels, but Matthew, who wrote about them, tells us very little, except that they worshipped Jesus.
Jesus, King of Kings, we remember that powerful leaders visited you when you were born.
Give your wisdom, boldness and grace to our world leaders,
to politicians, business people and those with influence.
King of Kings, establish your Kingdom here, on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus, King of Peace, we remember Herod’s jealously, lies and violence when you were born.
Bring your peace in places of conflict, anger and hatred,
across the world and right here in our communities.
King of peace, we pray for your Kingdom here, on earth as it is in heaven.
Taken from engageworship.com
The magi gave the baby Jesus special treasures. What are the treasures in your life? Toys, money, gaming, phone? The Bible says where your treasure is, that is where your heart is. i.e. we are in danger of worshipping these things instead of God.
What treasures (like our time, singing, helping others) can we give to God in worship?