Just returning from Christmas Eve service, we are sitting in the house, waiting for bread to rise, kids to arrive and watching a rain storm descend upon us. Most of us have our meals planned, probably have most of it prepared and are just waiting for that special time when the houses are full of friends and family to feast upon the food we have taken so much time to plan and prepare. As I sat down to think about what we heard at church today, it made me realize that we certainly do spend so much of our time at Christmas, shopping, wrapping, sending our best wishes through cards, planning those special meals and then preparing the houses and tables to look just perfect. How much of my time did I leave to prepare my heart for worshipping the One who this holiday is suppose to be about?
As we sat in church today, Luke (yes, his name is Luke and no, I didn’t get it mixed up with the Bible scripture we read today, I’m old, but not that old yet)preached on the familiar story of Matthew 2 and the passage when the wise men traveled to see the newborn King. As he continued to preach, he pointed out that there were 3 groups of people giving 3 different responses to Jesus birth and which one represented each of us the best.
The responses were:
King Herod Matthew 2: 3-5(rejection)-he struggled with hearing that there was a new king born and was afraid that this new King would take his place. He wanted control and did not want to share any part of his life or title with anyone. Saying he wanted to know where this new King had been born so he could go and worship him, but really wanting to know so he could have him killed.
Scribes Matthew 2 :5-6 (apathy)-when ask where this new King might be born, they read the prophets of old predictions and sadly, just answered the questions which the WiseMen had ask, but didn’t even care enough to go see for themselves.
Wise Men Matthew 2: 1-12 (worshipful)- The Wise Men were so excited about this new born King they traveled weeks, maybe a couple of months to take these precious gifts to the Christ Child, the Messiah, the New Born King.
So what is my response, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, do I sometimes reject His love and guidance, because I don’t want anyone being in control of my life? Am I like the Scribes who strutted around, thinking that they had read the prophets, they knew the scriptures, that was all they really needed, they didn’t need to see Him personally or invite Him into their lives. They had all the head knowledge of Him they needed…do I live sometimes like that? Do I think that just because I know the scriptures that will be enough to live a life worthy of Him? Have I personally invited Him into my life to dwell in my heart and allow Him to guide my days?
Or Will I be like the Wise men and go and seek Him, whatever it takes? Will I be willing to travel the distance in my commitment to go and worship? Do I want to give my best gifts to Him? Is my heart leaving room for Him? Am I really acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior?
May we all pray and ask God to take any part of our hearts that are like King Herod or the scribes and make us Wise Men who will seek more of Him in 2017…Merry Christmas to all of you and may we be a people who “proclaim the greatness of the Lord, and our spirits rejoice in God our Savior because He has looked with favor on the humble condition of His slave…to shine on those who live in darkness and the shade of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Mark 1:46-48a, 1:79