Devotion and Prayer for Week of January 6, 2013

Meditation for the Week January 6, 2013

  

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.”  (Matthew 2:10)

 

In the entire Bible, there is no greater expression of joy than right here in this verse: the Magi rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  Two words for joy are used and the adverb “exceedingly” is thrown in for good measure.  What is it that makes the Magi so excited and overjoyed?  It is the reappearance of the star.

Contrary to popular depictions, the Magi did not follow the star all the way from the East to Jerusalem.  They first saw the star when it rose, and then decided to journey to Jerusalem.  They chose Jerusalem because it was the capital city.  That’s where the king lived.  The king’s palace is the logical place to look for a newborn king.

But the Magi’s logic was wrong.  They were looking in the wrong city.  Jesus was not born in Jerusalem, but down the road in humble Bethlehem.  The scribes were able to point them in the right direction by reading the prophecy of Micah.  When the Magi saw the star a second time they knew that they were on the right track; that Jesus was right around the corner, and their journey was almost over.

You would think that the Magi would not have rejoiced until they saw actually Jesus.  After traveling so long and so far, you would think they would wait until they were in His presence, and then rejoice.  But for the Magi, the star was enough.  Even though they had yet to see Jesus face to face, they knew they would see Him soon, because they trusted in God and the sign that He had sent them.

Like the Magi you have been on a long journey through life.  At times it has been difficult.  At times you haven’t been sure that you were on the right road or traveling the right way.  You’ve taken some wrong turns and probably gotten lost a time or two.

But the Lord continues to guide you through His Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit, working through God’s Word, is like the star that led the Magi to Jesus.  Although you will not see Jesus face to face for little while longer, when you hear the Word of God it is the Holy Spirit leading you to Jesus.

And this gives you reason to rejoice as well.  Even here, even now, we rejoice.  We don’t need to wait until we are in God’s presence in heaven to rejoice.  We rejoice exceedingly with great joy here and now, because just as God led the Magi to Jesus, so too He leads you to come and worship His dear Son, Jesus Christ.

 

Our Weekly Prayer

O God, by the leading of a star You made known Your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles.  Lead us, who know You by faith, to enjoy in heaven the fullness of Your divine presence; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.