Summary: Making sense of Christmas.
Christmas, have you felt the on rush of it? It’s been coming for a long time now, and here it is December! Our calendars are quickly being filled with parties to go to and bonus’ to think of, as well as presents to buy, places to go and people to see and food to prepare!
This “Christmas” stuff is enough to drive a person crazy!
Sermon Spice Video: “A Brief History of Christmas”
I love the thought in the video … “Shush! This is stressing me out! I think I’m going crazy! Why are we doing this?
Why do we make Christmas time crazier than any other time in our lives? I don’t see anyone getting crazy over “turkey day” like they do over Christmas. Why?
Today I want to begin a series of messages, “The Christmas Crazies!” that will hopefully draw us out of the craziness long enough to take a more “sane” look Christmas and what it is really all about.
So let’s begin with those wise guys called the magi. Did the Magi Do Magic?
Matthew 2:1-2 NIV After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
Matthew 2:9-11 NIV After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
Have you thought about the magi yet this Christmas season? These men come around every year at Christmas time. We hear about them in sermons, plays, and songs. Who were these who traveled from a far to see the Christ child?
A lot of “speculation” and “supposing” sometimes filled with “superstition” is told concerning the Magi … after all it is where we get our word “magic.”
Some believe these men were … magicians in a traveling side show called “The Eastern Extravaganza of Really Neat Magic Tricks!” And they went from town to town pulling quarters out of people’s ears and sawing them in half. Of course I am kidding … they didn’t saw people in half … they quartered them! Hey I told you these messages were called “The Christmas Crazies!” so bear with me because there really is a point to this message.
Serious though, by the 6th century the magi of Matthew 2, had been and identified as kings from the orient (We three kings of orient are) and given names … Balthasar, King of Arabia; Melchior, King of Persia; and Gasper, (friendly ghost? No!) King of India.
Early Christian legends tell of twelve wise men living in the East. Their special treasure was a scroll written by Seth, the son of Adam. On this scroll were written prophecies concerning the Messiah of the Jews and the star which would appear at His birth. This group of wise men devoted themselves to watching for the Messiah’s star. From generation to generation, every month, these twelve wise men would ascend into a mountain cave and spend three days purifying themselves in its fountains, searching for the star, and praying to be led to the Messiah. As each man died, his son or other close relative took his place.