The Gospel of Matthew 2:1-12
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.
Let us Pray: Heavenly Father, you sent your son to guide your people, just as you sent a star to guide the Wise Men to worship him. We pray that you will send your Holy Spirit to guide our world leaders, and our church leaders as we begin a New Year. We know that this coming year will bring significant changes and we pray that you will always be present as we take one more step along the journey of faith. This we pray in the name of the Incarnate Jesus our Lord and Savior. Amen
Each of us has our own personal star guiding us, it may be the star of prayer, love, friendship, support. Our personal stars can be different acts or needs at different times. Be thankful for your star and be grateful that you have been and can be a star for others. In the book of God, each of us is a star. Like our faith, the star which shone at our baptism is the promise of God to guide us through life. Faith grows through the ordinary events of life. What can seem ordinary happenings can be extraordinary gifts, like the birth of a child in your family, the first time you fall in love, the people you meet who make a big difference in your life, success in a job, becoming a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, anything creative in your life is a gift of grace from God. Gifts we can share with others. The presence of your star may strike you any time, a time you felt a need for a way you helped some people, or really listening and talking with someone and you were there for them, then you realized you’re not the only one in life with problems. This feeling of helping others is like a gift, it is an epiphany one feels suddenly that one understands, or becomes conscious of something important, triggered by new information, which allows a leap of understanding. The understanding that they have helped one another and given them HOPE. As we look at the Magi, the gifts they brought to Jesus were more than gold, Incense, and myrrh. The gifts were recognition as gentiles that Jesus is King. They gave us all that gift, the gift that Jesus is King to all. As Christmas season is about to end, may we pay homage to Jesus as the King of kings and Lord of lords not just during Christmas but every day of our life. What better gift to give Him than our very own selves as His wise men and women in a world who many do not accept Him as King. So, when God presents us with some new opportunity, are we willing to get up and begin a journey of faith? The story of the Wise Men says there is something special that awaits at the finish. As we begin a new year do not worry about what gifts you bring, each is appropriate in its own way as you follow the star. As you journey ask yourself, where is the light of that star leading you in in this new year? At the moment, that star rest and it is up to you to find out if it leads to Jesus. Follow the star!
Let us Pray: Father God, the star that led the Magi to the stable announced to the world that its Savior was born. Today we live in a world that is still covered by darkness, and still needing to make that journey to the stable door. May our lives reflect your light day by day, as we seek to serve where you have placed us. That we might be the means through which others can encounter Jesus Christ. This we pray in your name. Amen