All rulers bow before you, and gold and incense bring. All nations shall adore you; your praise all people sing!
from “All Hail to God’s Anointed,” James Montgomery, 1821next >
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him.”
Matthew 2:1-2next >
Jesus was Jewish. He was born to a Jewish mother and was raised by her and his Jewish father. He went to the synagogue and the temple and celebrated all the Jewish holidays.
But did Jesus come only for his own people, the Jews?
Nope. Matthew tells us that he came for everyone, even the magi (wise men). They’re not Jewish. They’re from somewhere out east, so they probably followed eastern religions. It didn’t matter — they sought Jesus out at his birth, because he was worth worshiping. They were wise enough to know that Jesus came for them, too.
These days people who follow Jesus are Christians, like most of us reading this devotion. But did Jesus just come for us? Did he just come for Christians?
Nope. What was true back then is still true today. The wise men were wise enough to know he came for everyone. Matthew wants us to be that wise, too. How does Jesus’ coming for everyone (and not just us) help you understand our Christian faith?
Chip Hardwicknext >
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you came for the whole world. Thank you for loving everyone, not just Christians and Jews. Help me to live, showing that love to everyone around me. Amen.next >
We’ll walk in the light, beautiful light. Come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright. Oh, shine all around us by day and by night. Jesus, the light of the world!
from “Jesus, the Light of the World,” George D. Elderkin, 1890
Chip Hardwick is a pastor serving as the Director of Theology, Formation, and Evangelism for the Presbyterian Church (USA). He follows the star in Louisville, Kentucky, with his cat Ahoy.
Advent Waiting: Away in a Manger - O Come All Ye Faithful