Summary: What we can learn from the journey and joy of the Wise Men.
Are you WISE?
January 5, 2014
Well, we made it through last week. That was fun, wasn’t it? We shoveled 5 times last Sunday, then the cold hit, and we all huddled in our homes. But that’s behind us. Now, can you believe we’re almost half way through January? It’s hard to believe Christmas is long gone. Christmas sales are over; Valentine’s Day stuff is out. I’ve even seen some St. Patrick’s Day stuff at the store; and many of us have already given up on our New Year’s Resolutions.
Speaking of New Year’s Resolutions I have the same ones every year! Honestly, I really do, even though I don’t like to make New Year’s Resolutions. I hope I can improve in all aspects of my life. It starts with the heart, moves to the soul, extends to my mind and is wrapped up in my physical being. So that means I’m trying to eat healthier, drink more water, pray and read the Bible more, be better at loving my family, stretch my mind with reading and discovery, and exercise more. That’s it. It’s the same every year. Because every year I can improve in those areas.
Now if you resolved to attend worship on a weekly basis, not letting the cold or snow; heat or rain stop you, then great work! You’ve succeeded! Week 1 didn’t count.
So, let take a little survey ~
How many of you still have your Christmas tree and decorations up?
How many of you have you thrown out your tree, and you’ve taken down your Christmas decorations until next Christmas season?
There aren’t too many of us who wait until after the passing of Epiphany to take down our Christmas décor. What word did I just say?
Epiphany! Literally it means a "manifestation," a "striking appearance, or a revelation!" Traditionally, it’s a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ.
It always occurs on January 6th. Epiphany was this past Monday.
In the western church world, Epiphany is the day the Magi finally reached Mary and Joseph and offered their extravagant gifts to Jesus. Yet, I think we find this story either too cute or irrelevant, or maybe even kind of out dated.
Maybe it’s because we've opened, used, returned, eaten and even broken our presents. We’ve packed up our nativity scenes even before the wise men had a chance to show up for the celebration.
So, let’s read the story about these wise men. The story is found in Matthew 2 ~
1 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,
2 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.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: