Changed by Christmas

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“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.” (Matthew 2:11-12, CEB)

Today churches all over will commemorate the Epiphany. This is the day we remember the visit of the Magi (or Wise Men) to the Baby Jesus. Often times we put the Magi at the manger on the night of Jesus’ birth, but that is not likely how it occurred. One major clue is seen in verse 11 as the Magi entered the house; this means that the Holy Family was no longer in the stable. So the Magi enter the house and honor Jesus with their three famous gifts.

That part of today’s passage stopped me in my tracks when I read it in light of our Home for Christmas series, which we will conclude today at church at the well. The Magi came, worshipped Jesus, and returned home a different way. Isn’t that the message of Christmas? Isn’t that how we should view today in light of the Christmas season? We come, honor Jesus, and then return home differently…transformed. I pray you do. I pray we all do.

Today is the first Sunday of the new year. We looked at five ways to make spiritual resolutions in our daily waters this past week to make 2018 our best yet. You might not have gold, frankincense, and myrrh to bring to Jesus, but that doesn’t mean you lack a gift to give; after all, God wants your heart. Will you give God your whole heart as you give your prayers, time, energy, money, and witness to Him by serving others through the church? This week we will go beyond resolutions as we think about setting goals for God. I hope you will make it a point to come back here every day this week as we look at setting goals for God so we truly approach 2018 differently because of Christmas…because of Jesus.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for Christmas, and thank you for Jesus. As I find myself here on this first Sunday in the New Year, help me to approach it differently because of You. Forgive me for the tendency I have to think that today is just any other old day, because it isn’t. This is a day that you have made, so help me rejoice and be glad in it. I ask this in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.