In the previous posting, we covered the beginning of the story of the 3 Kings’ visit to find Jesus. So we continue with the excerpt from the Christmas Eve message by Chuck Foreman at First Christian Church of Phoenix:
When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. ~Matthew 2:10-11a
“…and they came into the house…” Wait a minute—I thought Jesus was born in a stable? He was, but contrary to tradition, these Eastern Astronomers showed up some time after Jesus was born. But even a house in little Bethlehem Town that a lowly carpenter could afford was not exactly where they expected to find this new king. If you were looking for a king, where would you go? That’s what these guys thought too. That’s why they went to Jerusalem first—to the king’s palace…. Bethlehem was definitely not their intended destination!
A lot of us are like these Wise Men. We’ve been looking for, hoping for a palace, but we’ve wound up at a house in Podunk Bethlehem, or worse yet, a stable. Things haven’t worked out so far for us in life like we had hoped—in the pursuit of our dreams, our jobs, our marriages, our relationships. God has kind of let us down, we think.
See, God wasn’t in the palace. In fact, you’ll rarely find him there. He was in the stable—and he always has been! People, Jesus Christ, Emmanuel—“God with us” came to us in the most humble, demeaning way imaginable! You’ll find him in the stable, in the humble house. That’s the whole point of the Incarnation—The Word becoming flesh! What Jesus wants you to understand is that He gets down on your level. He meets you in your problems, in your crushed dreams, and in the challenges of life like no one else. When you’re willing to meet him there, he can change your life, like he’s able to do in no other place!
He’s not in the palace. He’s in the stable. He always has been. Don’t miss the opportunity to get to know him there—just as he is, just as you are.
Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.~Matthew 2:11b
Do you realize that this is the 1st recorded incident of anyone actually worshipping Jesus? He was still a baby boy. These men were foreigners, probably not too well received in Jewish territory by anyone but Jesus and his parents. They weren’t familiar with the ways of God or His People. They were likely idol worshippers, but they were able to recognize God when there wasn’t anyone or anything else in the way. And there He was—having humbled himself and become flesh—one of us; Emmanuel—God with us!
And did you notice that they bowed down to worship him? When was the last any of us did that? Do we even know what it is to worship anymore? They bowed down and presented him with treasures! Could it be that it might take some pagans like them to teach us how to worship our own God? I think Matthew thought so.
And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.~Matthew 2:12
Get back home another way…
They couldn’t get back home the same way they had come. They knew what Herod had up his sleeve. They had to go home another way.
We’ve been talking about Going Home for Christmas lately here at FCC—home to God. Too often in life we seem to move away from God instead of toward Him. If you’ve drifted away from God, you’re not going to get back home to Him the same way you’ve come. You have to take a different route.
The Story of Christmas is about the God of the universe—Creator of the stars & the angels who announced the birth of His Son—Revealer of His cosmic plan even to pagans. He left His throne in heaven to be born in a stable, people! He wants you to get the significance of that!
And he wants to meet you, as He really is, right where you are.
Come home; come back to GOD this Christmas. I think He’s been waiting just for you. AMEN! [Right on!]
Soli Deo Gloria!
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