May We Marvel Like the Magi

Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time! They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, His mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped Him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. In a dream, they were warned not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left that territory without being seen, and returned to their own country. – (Matthew 2:9-12, MSG)

 

As I continue on my journey to dig deeper into the stories of those who first were mentioned in the Christmas story, this morning I did some searching about the Magi. What I had already learned, is that the wise men who visited bearing gifts, did not actually visit Mary, Joseph and Jesus as He lay in the manger. It was likely a year or two later. As mentioned, the wise men entered their home, not an animal shelter of sorts with Jesus in a manger. My new discovery however, is that according to what I found, the Magi were a priesthood of the Medes, known for their exceptional religious knowledge, and some proved to be experts at interpretation of dreams. This was the very same group of wise men and advisors to whom Daniel had been appointed Chief of the Magi, several generations prior. The gifts that these priestly people brought had prophetic and powerful meaning in religious realms. Gold spoke of His kingship, frankincense was a spice used in priestly duties, and myrrh was an embalming ointment anticipating His death. The wise men followed a star, knowing of the significance of Who they would find if they followed where it led. Based on the gifts that they had prepared to take, I imagine that they had already been given some dreams and insight about what had been foretold long before. It is awe-inspiring to envision what the moment must have been like for the Magi. A lifetime of studying and seeking, and then suddenly these wise men found themselves standing before the Savior of the world.  May we each have Magi-like moments this Christmas, where we recognize in awe and wonder, His powerful presence, because He chose to come and be God with us.

 

A star of wonder, May We Live Like the Magi

Led wise men afar;

Check in with a king,

Then follow the star.

The Magi arrived,

In Bethlehem town;

The way clearly shown,

As the star shined down.

With awe and wonder,

The wise men took knee;

They gave Him their gifts,

All praise unto Thee.

May we too behold,

A similar awe;

At the Gift given,

What the wise men saw.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You willingly show us more and more of Who You are and all that You have done, as we seek You and ask for Your insight. Thank You for the faithfulness and obedience of the Magi, and a bit more of the story behind them. Forgive us for taking everything at face value, or for becoming numb to the depth and life that come from beholding the truth and the treasure that is found in the story of Jesus’ arrival. Teach us to seek to see it through fresh eyes, so that we never lose our awe and wonder at the glory of the Gift that You gave. Show us how to love those around us in a way that points hearts to You, the ultimate Giver of all. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we stand in awe of all that You have done for us, and the very reason we celebrate this season. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy. – Job 8:21

(link to Magi research)

Our Provider

We are currently in the midst of a series at church, where my pastor is unpacking the roles of Jesus. Yesterday, the topic of study was Jesus is Our Provider. Among the many names known for the Lord, Jehovah Jirah means, our provider.

 

During Jesus’ time on earth, He proved to be a provider to many. Just after Jesus had learned that His cousin, John, had been beheaded by Herod and was setting out by boat to a solitary place, the crowds followed Him on foot, and in their zeal to see Him, arrived before Him. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick. – (Matthew 14:14) More than that, it was on that same occasion that Jesus fed the multitude from five small loaves and two fish. Again, the Lord saw the need of the people, and He provided.

 

God wants us to trust Him with our time, talent and treasure. In return, He gives us enough to sustain us and to give away. Even when it feels like we don’t have what we will need, the Lord wants us to ask Him to provide for each day, and He is faithful to meet us accordingly. When Jesus taught us how to pray, He said to say: “Give us today our daily bread.” – (Matthew 6:11) We are to ask for what is needed today, and let tomorrow worry about itself. For as our day is, so too shall our strength be.

 

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. – (Philippians 4:19)

 

May we ask of the Lord what is needed for this day, and go forth in faith, trusting that He will provide all that we need, according to His glorious riches.

 

Jehovah Jirah,Finding Freedoms Flight

our great Provider;

full of compassion,

true hope decider.

For He has taught us,

to choose ask each day;

for what is needed,

come to Him and pray.

Our needs shall be met,

one day at a time;

enough to sustain,

His power divine.

Let’s bring to the Lord,

time, talent, treasure;

and He will pour out,

with lavish measure.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Provider. Thank You that as we pour out, You provide. Thank You as we trust You with our time, talent and treasure, You meet us where we are at, and grant us the strength and supply as each day comes. Thank You that You even taught us how to pray – to ask You each day for that which is needed, one day at a time. Forgive us for worrying about things too far down the road, or for spaces where we are short supplied. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You first, and ask for that which is needed for this day, as we go forth and sow generously with our time, talent and treasure. Lead us to love well all those whom we encounter, just as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we trust all of our time, talent and treasure in Your hands, and seek You for what is needed each day. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

Eternal Treasure

Fear can create all kinds of crazy. Herod, who was the king of the Jews, upon hearing of the birth of Jesus, (whom he also heard was born to be King), sought his whereabouts so he could put a stop to the possibility of losing his throne. When Herod’s spies did not return to inform him of Jesus’ whereabouts, he ordered that all of the baby boys in that region be killed. God told Joseph, (Jesus’ earthly father) in a dream to leave at once, so they did, escaping safely into Egypt. (Read Matthew 2)

Ironically, Jesus had not come to take Herod’s earthly throne, but rather longed to be the ruler of his life. Jesus came to give life, not take it away. Today, people often have the same hesitations about entering a relationship with Christ. They fear that all that is dear to them will be taken away, when in reality, they will be given that which has eternal value – real freedom, peace and joy. In Christ, we have hope for all of eternity, not just passing pleasure for today. Yes, we may be asked to give up temporal “treasures” that can cause us harm, but the benefits and blessings found in our Father’s favor, far outweigh these earthly things.

Freedom is found,He Will

when fear is released;

joy will abound,

as faith is increased.

Let our delight,

be found in the Lord;

treasures so trite,

not ours to afford.

Give all to God,

and soon we shall find;

what is a fraud,

and what is Divine.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son to show us the way to live faithfully before You. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who equips and empowers us to do so. Thank You Jesus, for taking our sins to the cross, so that we no longer need to carry them, nor fear the consequence we deserve. Forgive us for our failure to choose wisely, and help us to entirely embrace all that You have given, with all that we are, so that we might give You our whole lives in return. May we live and love as You love us, and may many come to know the true freedom that is found only through faith in You. Let our every treasure be in that which is eternal. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.