Pray | Lord, in my hustle and bustle, joy or anxiousness, may I not be too busy or distant to pause and consider the wonder of who you are.
|December is full of such good stuff! Families gather from near and far, friends are meeting up for celebration, lights go up with frozen fingers, trees and streetlights are twinkling, and there’s the buying, wrapping and giving one to another. But that’s not everyone’s story, it can also be a season of dread, loneliness and anxiety. There’s the reality that finances and time are limited, maybe a heart is grieving, conflict is in the air, or one we love so very dearly is not ‘round the tree but in a hospital. |
The Magi must have had their share of challenges that first Christmas. Before their long journey there were travel plans to make, camels to pack and such, and then miles and miles of searching. But even so, it is written that as they traversed, they saw “the star” and were overjoyed! This Advent, as the days tick off the calendar, will there be a point in which we are overjoyed at something so simple but significant?
When these Magi finally arrived at the house of Mary and Joseph, they saw the child with his mother and bowed down and worshiped. (Can you just imagine the awe and relief of Mary and Joseph?! Maybe saying, “We have indeed understood these messages from the Lord!”)
Oh, that in this season of Advent, of arrival, that we would come to really see the manger, that we consider the baby, toddler, man, Messiah who came to be with us for such a loving purpose. If the calendar is crowded, and “s t r e t c h e d” is the feeling of the day, how much more valuable to pause, bow and worship (Exodus 20:3.) If burdened and heavy laden, now is the hour to make time for Jesus, for he says he’s gentle and humble in heart, that you’ll find rest for your soul (Matthew 11:28-30). If you find yourself confused, anxious, or with a grieving heart over something or someone, then come close, because it is written that Jesus is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). And if you are in a place of abundance and joy, the bid is still to come close (Deuteronomy 8:10-18). One thing is clear, there’s room for all of us at the manger.
Read | Matthew 2:9-12
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
Reflect | Spend some time reflecting on the following:
We come often to the Lord with our needs and desires, which is so, so good, but what I love about the wise men, is that before Jesus did anything in his time on earth, they bowed, worshiped and gave gifts simply because of who he was, God with us.
May we each spend some time in reflection, asking God to help us come and bow this Christmas, no matter what, and even if . . .