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December 21

Scripture Reading

Matthew 2:1-12

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.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 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 being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Psalm 72:10-11

May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!

Reflection

The Journey to Worship


We don’t know exactly how the wise men found out that Christ was born. We don’t know their names or even precisely how many of them came searching for Christ. We don’t know how they learned that Christ would come as the king of the Jews (also the title nailed on the cross of Christ). But we do know that the wise men made a journey to worship Christ.


Almost always, it takes a journey to worship Christ.

The wise men made a one-time geographical journey to worship Christ. We need to make multiple journeys of the heart as we keep worshipping our Saviour.


The wise men began their journey with a revelation of Christ, though the Bible does not tell us how they received this knowledge of Christ. They had a star to guide them on their journey to their Saviour. It was not an easy journey. King Herod schemed to manipulate their journey. But in the end, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him.

Just like the Magi, we too make our journeys to worship Christ. Come to think of it, worship itself is also a journey. It takes a lifetime as we go deeper and deeper in unraveling the many and glorious excellencies of Christ. It does take time and complex experiences of joy and sorrow, fear and relief, anxiety and contentment for each of the excellencies of Christ to become sweeter and sweeter to our souls.


The Magi made this journey in a community, so must we. We should enjoy several moments of worship in solitude, but we need gospel community to keep going on this journey without the troubles of life tiring us out.

But there is one significant difference in the journey of worship the wise men made, and the journeys we are called to make. The wise men journeyed carrying treasures of gold and frankincense and myrrh. But as we journey to Christ, we carry nothing except our poverty. The only true way we can come to worship Christ, our beloved Saviour, is with a deep poverty of spirit. All our righteousness is like filthy rags and none of our good works can ever be pure enough to meet his holy standards.

It is only when we lay aside our own righteousness and seek his that our journey of worship becomes light and easy.





Notes

Song: We Three Kings, Rend Collective.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV®Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright© 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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