December 30, 2017

Joyful Wise Men

Matthew 2:1-12

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. . . . They bowed down and worshiped him.

—  Matthew 2:10-11

Stars? Magi? Lavishly expensive gifts? What does this strange story mean?

The Magi are the first of a long line of people from other nations and cultures who will come to honor Jesus and worship him. They are Gentiles, people from outside the Israelite nation. Many of these Gentiles are worshipers of other gods, but when they meet Jesus, they will come to know him for who he really is. They will believe in his power to save and give new life, and, like the Magi, they will react to his presence with joy, honor, and worship.

The story of the star of Beth­le­hem tells us that God’s love is for all people of all races from all nations and all times. None of us has a corner on God’s love or can keep God’s light for ourselves. Jesus came to be the Savior of the world—all of it.

The passion of the Magi to find Jesus should make us ponder our own passion for Jesus. Is it truly our hearts’ desire to know him? Would we leave everything behind to meet him and follow him? Are we willing to abandon our whole being to the joy of discovering Jesus as our Savior?

When the Magi found Jesus, they presented him gifts that were symbols of their hearts. Are we willing to offer him the same?

O God, shine the light of your love in the darkness. Shine it around and above us, leading us all to Jesus, the light of the world. Fill our hearts with your light, and may we offer them to you. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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