Daily Prayer Guide: Sunday Dec 20

Scripture Reading

Matthew 2:1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east 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 and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Meditation

Anticipation. Expectations. Hope. This is what the Magi must have felt in their quest to see the newborn Christ. The magi were most likely counselors to kings, well known for their ability to interpret dreams and the movements of the stars. They were not Jewish men seeking the Messiah. We don’t know why the Magi (and their entourage) set out on this journey, but we recognize that they were on a search for Jesus.

When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were enough of a presence that King Herod, known for his paranoia, invited them in. He claimed that he also wanted to know of this new Messiah. Herod wasn’t searching for Jesus himself, but he was allowing others to do it for him.

When the Magi found Jesus, they were humbled and worshipped him. They were transformed by a baby. They returned home by another route. They returned home knowing that they had met the Christ. Their lives were given a new route because of Jesus.

For the Magi, they completed a two-year journey to meet Jesus. Different people take different paths to the Prince of Peace, but at the end of the journey, we begin to be transformed by the One who came to save us. This process is continuous and without end. At this time of year, when anticipation and hope are high, what does your transformation look like? Are you changed because you have a relationship with Jesus? Are your days different because you know the Messiah?

We don’t learn about the fate of the Magi. When they returned to their country, did their friends and family see a change in them? After meeting Jesus, I would guess that change would be obvious.

Reflection & Prayer

  • Think about the magi’s journey to an unknown destination. They didn’t know what lay at the end, but were convinced that there was a greater story, a greater power at work in their lives. Do you sense that greater story in your life? Why or why not?
  • What would it look like for your life journey to find its way towards a greater story?
  • When you stop and take time to reflect on the story of the Gospel, are you moved to worship like the magi? Take some time and reflect for yourself…

Written by Jaye Barbeau

Click Here to Download Week 4 Prayer Guide: Sun Dec 20-Fri Dec 25

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Act Local: Share gifts of time and resources with those in our community. At the Impact Tree in the Atrium, find opportunities available for individuals, families and life groups. All the information you need will be on the cards by the Tree. Take a card – put an ornament on the tree.

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