Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Κύριος Notes:The Magi Meet A Murder


See the praises of our Saviour
Rise to open skies
With the dawning of redemption
Your glory will aries
For You alone are worthy
Here in Zion you are praised Our Lord and King forever

Our God is with us
Prince of Peace Mighty One
The Ever-living God
You will reign
Scripture Reflection: Matthew 2:1-12
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2and 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."

So much is left between the lines Lord in this passage. There were miles to be traveled, discomfort and worry experienced, as well as the assurance that God was watching over the events that formed Mary and Joseph's life.

Then enter the Wise men...They too traveled miles to arrive at Herod's doorstep. They may have traveled the farthest, with the least amount of data. When I think of the data that they had I wonder at it's accuracy and how much stock that they had put in it. They left home and family, risked death and wealth on this enterprise to find the King of the Jews. Maybe they should have been called the Brave men?

3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

Herod was a person who if you were close to him you wanted him to be happy. People had a habit of dieing around him when he was not happy. Unease settled over Jerusalem as Herod pondered the request of the Wisemen.

4When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.

Herod knew immediately who they were looking for. He must have had some training in the law and the prophets. Note to self...knowledge without obedience just makes for smart despots and not Godly men.

5"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: 6" 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"

Side note Lord...small places sometimes have large impacts...the places that seem to be off the beaten track are sometimes the places where great movements of Your Spirit begin. Size and location are not as important in your economy as obedience and openness to your leading.

7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."

Pious words spoken by a King that had evil in his heart. And yet in the middle of this picture, Herod was part of the direction that lead the Wise men to You Lord Jesus. Herod the Great killer of innocents directed the Magi on their mission.

So what does that imply about the way that You lead Your people Lord Jesus? Evil men sometimes can be used by God in ways that they do not intend? That you are watching over our steps and directing our paths in ways and at moments we least expect?

9After 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. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

I don't understand how a star could ever go ahead of these Wise men, but I also don't understand how an evil man bent on murder ends up being used by You to direct people looking for You. I continue to be amazed at the way that you make a way when the way seems unclear and even blocked for those who are seeking to follow your direction. If you did it in the first century for a small group of Wise men and a couple expecting their first child, then you can do it for your people in Saratoga.

11On 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.

They came to worship and give gifts to the small child king, their gifts were tokens of thier honor and faith. Was it partly to support the trip to Egypt that the wise men came? The interconnectedness of grace is something that reoccurrs to me time and time again. God leads and supplies one person and that impacts another which in turn creates opportunity for a third group all of which are being lead and guided, directed and financed by your grace.

12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

What is seen clearly again and again in the Christmas account is the simple fact that you direct your people, your protect your people and you supply the needs of your people.

Lord Jesus in this day help me to look for the ways in which you are leading me.

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