Advent readings are something we do each year.
It is a devotional that is created by members of our congregation and read each Sunday during the advent season.
Matthew 2:1-2, 5, 9-11
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” … “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet.”
After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
“And nations shall come to your light and kings to the brightness of your rising. . . They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord.” (Isaiah 60:3a, 6b)
The wise men were enchanters, magicians, astrologers. They bowed only to kings, stars, and the gods of their own conjurings. Then, one night, a new light brightened the darkness.
A birth announcement was written in the stars for the king of all kings—one who could move the heavens and earth. This was something they needed to see. Reverence for the skies moved the wise men toward the One who commanded the very stars.
With the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, the wise men packed treasures fit for a king, and embarked upon their journey—a pilgrimage to worship.
Pointed toward Bethlehem, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy as the star led them to a humble home where they found a young child and his mother. These VIPs bowed themselves in humility, in worship. This child’s worth was immeasurable, so they presented him treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The way the wise men worship Jesus paints a beautiful picture for us to behold during Advent. Let us worship the king as they did—with rejoicing, in awe of his greatness, and with humility—ascribing to him things of great value.
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
-(Lines from Henry van Dyke’s Hymn of Joy, 1907)
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. (1 Peter 1:8)
Let us rejoice exceedingly with great joy!
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3)
Jesus, let us perceive your greatness and power.
All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2)
Let us humble ourselves before you.
To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. (Jude 1:25)
Let us ascribe to you, Jesus, things of great value. Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.