December 22: Prepare (Advent 2014 Devotional)

Matthew 2:10-12 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.

advent

We are now just a few days away from Christmas and celebrating once again the birth of Jesus Christ. In our passage today, we see the wise men (magi), have come to visit the toddler Jesus in his home. Even though this even took place up to two years after Jesus’ birth, there is still something here for us to see and hear during this Advent season.

The magi entered the house, bowed down and gave their gifts. So what is really interesting, to me, is how these verses today end: “they went back to their own country by another route.”

The magi left different. They still went back home, but they left different. After you and I celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this year, we should leave different and not take the same path back we searched for him on. This means, we do go back into our home, work, school, life; but we are different. We do not have the same patterns, the same “rituals,” the same direction. Our new purpose is that of following Christ and helping people find him. You and I have become the angels (messengers of God) to proclaim to those who feel unworthy that the God in heaven loves and adores them and is longing to be around them.

How will you be different this Christmas season?

Jesus, too often we hear the story of your birth in this world and it does not phase us. We seek for and long to be in your presence. Help us proclaim to others your reality and your love for them, even if we feel too important. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

Published by

Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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