The Shepherds and the Angels
1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 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.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rules of Judah; for you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ “
7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
This scripture reminds me of the great joy we find when we actively seek Christ. During the holiday season, in the midst of all the shopping, the tinsel and glitter, and holiday stress, we get so caught up in worldly affairs and forget to focus on the birth of Christ. Just like the Wise Men, we must ACTIVELY seek Christ to be “filled” by the pure joy and love that only Christ can provide. This scripture inspires me to focus on Christ as opposed to Christmas gifts. This scripture reminds me it is okay if my Christmas decorations are not perfect, because they are not what is important. This scripture inspires me to focus on helping others in need. This scripture reminds me the best gift I can give to friends and family is not one that comes in a wrapped package, it is the gift of helping them feel God’s love.
God, as we move into the holiday season, we ask that you help us slow down and focus on letting our hearts and minds be filled with your love. Amen.