An Advent Mini-Minute with Pam: The King is Coming
Week Four: The King. Love
Wise men/women still worship Him
I’d like to start week four with a blessing for each of you: May you have a “Mary” Christmas with many opportunities to just sit and allow yourself to enter into a time of WONDER, worship, and praise for the Reason (Jesus) for the Season. Just for fun, let’s have a minute of sharing some potential family/friend gathering conversation starters. Some fun eye-openers you might not know…
Things we believe…However…
- The angels did NOT “sing”
- There is no mention of an INN KEEPER
- The wise men were NOT at the “stable” where the “babe” was
- There is no mention of a DONKEY for Mary to ride on
- Jesus was NOT a “baby” when the wise men arrived at the “house”
- There is no mention of the number of wise men
Now…let’s look at the next chapter of our advent story of Christmas…
Worth the trip
“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 have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’
The wise men probably traveled hundreds of miles over many months, in order to honor the newborn king with their treasures. These expensive and unusual gifts suggest they were official representatives sent as emissaries to honor the new king of this ancient land. And they probably had some form of body-guards because of the value of the gifts.They never took their eyes off the star. They stayed on course because they believed the extraordinary star they had never seen before, would lead them to an extraordinary person. They came to give their gifts to He who IS the GIFT.
The Visual Guide to Bible Events suggests that perhaps they were descendants of those sent east during the Babylonian captivity in the days of Daniel, and had returned to their homeland seeking the Messiah.
These “wise” men, knew prophesy. They were philosophers, priests, scholars. Perhaps they has spent their entire lives looking for the star to guide them.
“A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.”
Herod the Great
He knew he did not deserve his title of king. He was power hungry and fearful of losing his power – dubbed as King by the Roman Senate as King of the Jews. He had even killed his sons and wives when he felt they were conspiring to overtake his throne. His royal paranoia was deeply intact when the Magi arrived. Imagine how he felt when he heard that the Magi were looking for the LEGITIMATE King of the Jews. He pumped the Magi for information pretending that he, too, wanted to go to worship Him whom they sought. The one whom Scripture had prophesied.
So, when Herod learned that his RIVAL was a child, likely 2 years old, and lived in Bethlehem, he sent his murderous soldiers to kill ALL male children 2 years old and younger. Imagine the uproar in the town. There were two groups. One brought gifts and the other brought terror:
** The magi (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible suggests there could have been up to 14 magi, along with their body guards) and
** The soldiers (and who knows how many of them there were). The town was chaotic and overrun with strangers.
Background (Source: Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Bible)
In Moses’ time, Pharaoh ordered male Jewish children murdered at birth, just before the Exodus FROM Egypt TO the Promised Land (The exile).
Now, Herod orders the slaughter of Israelite children IN the promised land. This sends Joseph and family BACK TO Egypt to safety. (It was the closest place outside of Herod’s jurisdiction, and there were thriving Jewish communities there, which offered Joseph and family a safe haven.)
God speaks to each of us uniquely.
At the birth of Christ, God notified the JEWISH shepherds by an angel.
At the birth of Christ, God notified the GENTILE magi (wise men) with a star.
He spoke in their own language—in the way they were best acquainted with.
How does God speak to YOU when He wants to get YOUR attention?
Tiring journeys. Worth the trip
Mary and Joseph had traveled maybe 90 miles to Bethlehem because of the census.
The wise men had traveled maybe thousands of miles on their long journey that must have lasted a couple years, because of Jesus.
God will provide for you, too. For every mile of your “journey” with Him. He will give you whatever you need. Not what you THINK you need, but what you actually need in order to complete what He has called you to do.
According to Mark 10:45 Christmas is about the coming of the Son of Man who “came not to be served but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.”
“These words …are what I hope God will fix in your mind and your heart this Advent. Open your heart to receive the best present imaginable : Jesus giving himself to die for you and to serve you all the rest of eternity. Receive this. Turn away from self-help and sin. Become like little children. Trust him TRUST HIM. with your life.”
Love arrived that day. Pray with me.
May God fill you with a sense of WONDER this Christmas season and beyond. May you search for Him everywhere, every day, in every way. Because He is right there with you, through it all. Believe that! WHATEVER you are experiencing. He is the way, the Truth and the Life. I pray you have more of a MARY Christmas than a MERRY Christmas this year.
Lord, give us wisdom to follow the “star” You have for each of us to follow. Show us the way. We thank you for giving us Your Spirit, so we can think Your thoughts as we gather with others. And as we sit alone with You—thinking through our day each evening. Asking how we can bless You more tomorrow…to bring You joy. You ARE Love. May Your Wisdom and the Light of Your Love shine through each one of us, no matter what! Thank You Jesus for your sacrifice…to show us the way HOME. May we CHOOSE to love You with an undivided heart. To God be the Glory!
This week’s verse:
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
Grab a copy of this little book (shown below) to help you notice more of the WONDER of God’s presence everywhere in all things. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
From a flock of geese to a dog on a leash, the pages of this winsome little book are filled with things we see around us every day. Pamela A. Taylor takes those everyday items and looks at them through the eyes of a child; making them seem exciting and new while also teaching children how to be grateful for the God who created them. Take a walk with Pamela through the pages of this book and help your little ones see God’s hand in the beauty of life.
Awaiting His shout,
Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor