Reading: Matthew 2:1-12
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”
When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
In these last few weeks, we’ve looked at the messages of the Christmas season and we’ve heard dialogs with key characters of the story. And now, our Christmas journey has ended and today we begin another season of the church year, Epiphany.
On January 6, we commemorate when the wisemen came to see the Baby Jesus. They brought gifts and paid homage to the little baby who would change the world. They, too, were filled with joy. But they did not go back the same way that they came—they did not go back to Herod. They were warned in a dream to go away.
Hopefully as you have read our series of Christmas messages and dialogs, you’ve felt the spirit of this season and appreciated those who were part of the original drama. Now, as we go into a new season, we will see Jesus revealed to us. We will see him call a rag-tag group of men to help him with his ministry and we will see the great acts Jesus does in the early days of that ministry. Our focus turns from waiting for and reveling in Christ’s arrival to walking with him as he heals, teaches, preaches, and serves.
It’s a new year! What ways will you show Christ to others this year? How can your gifts be used to glorify God and build up God’s kingdom? Pay homage to Jesus and then get to work!
Guide us as you guided the wisemen to the baby Jesus. As we pay homage, show us how to share Christ’s love in this world.