2019 Advent Devotional – Day 15


Matthew 2:1-2 – The Wise Men arrived in Jerusalem

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”

Salvation - Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

The wise men were eminent figures who would have been accompanied by a significant entourage. They likely came from Persia which lay to the north and east of Judea, and where they would have served the Persian king as astrologers and interpreters of dreams. Their journey to Jerusalem was an act of diplomatic honour and statecraft. They would have no doubt expected their prestige to have been recognized in their reception, fitting for the praise and honour they were to bestow.

Except it wasn’t. Because the child they were looking for wasn’t in Jerusalem, or in any conventional or expected location for royalty. It would appear their tributes and gifts were uncalled for.

Except they weren’t. Not uncalled for, just misplaced. The child Jesus—God’s love embodied for us—requires our finest praise and deepest honour. The tributes of the wise men had a wholly deserving recipient, worthy of the most illustrious homage that they could provide. 

This is both our challenge and our inspiration today. How can we emulate the intent of the wise men and bring before God our most illustrious praise and honour? How might our lives comprise a suitable tribute for God’s gift of absolute love? Only our most heartfelt worship will do; a gift so simple and yet so immense, that we will need all God’s help to do so.

Exalted God,
I pause today to praise and worship you, offering you all my heart in gratitude and adoration. Thank you for the love you give to me: for the guidance to follow your way, for the strength to stay true to your teachings, and for your forgiveness when I fall short. Help me to honour your blessings in my life and your presence in the world. Amen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2020.

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