Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 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.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 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.” 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. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 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. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
It is a few weeks before Christmas and First Presbyterian Church like others is being decorated for the celebration of Christmas. The trees are erected, the garlands and wreaths are hung, the candles are in the windows and the Nativity set is displayed on a table in the narthex. Everything is in place except the baby Jesus in the creche. It is tradition that this central figure is not put in place until Christmas Eve. Though many Nativity scenes will have all the characters in place, with regard to the Christ child, He is not in place until December 24 at our church.
Many Nativity sets will have the angels hovering above the stable, the scriptures suggest they remained a memory in the shepherds’ minds as they went to Bethlehem. The Wise Men did not show up at the stable. They found the child, Jesus, and his mother, Mary, in a house. It was there that the wise men presented their precious gifts to the baby Jesus, King of the Jews.in
The scriptural allusion to Matthew 2:1-12 is found in the third stanza of What Child Is This.
So, bring him incense, gold, and myrrh; come, one and all, to own him. The King of Kings salvation brings; let loving hearts enthrone him. Raise, raise the song on high. The virgin singsher lullaby. Joy, joy, for Christ is born, the babe, the son of Mary!
Gracious God, we thank You for the gift of salvation. We offer our loving hearts to enthrone You. We lift our joyful songs of praise to You. Accept our love, gratitude, and praises. In the name of Christ our Savior, we pray. Amen.