Pause

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, 1821

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Listen

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.

Matthew 2:10-11

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Think

Have you ever been so joyful you could barely stand it? Did it ever happen with other Christians? Or maybe by yourself with God?

Maybe on a retreat everything was the way it was supposed to be… for once! Or maybe at youth group you realized, for the first time, how much God loves you. Who knows — maybe even somewhere completely unexpected, like your grandmother’s funeral?

When we feel joy because of what God’s up to, we’re in good company. The magi (wise men) were thrilled when the star pointed them to Jesus. They saw God at work and were filled with happiness — so much that they had to respond. They opened up their treasure chests and gave Jesus expensive gifts.

It makes me wonder how we respond when we’re filled with joy at what God is up to. One way is to give generously like the wise men. Can you imagine donating some of what you earn or receive from your parents back to God — because you’re so grateful for the joy you’ve been given?

Chip Hardwick

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Pray

Great God, thanks for all the times you give me joy. Thank you that sometimes it comes when I least expect it. Thanks too for all the ways you provide for me financially. Give me strength and generosity so that I can be like the wise men and give enthusiastically to your work in the world. In Christ’s name I pray, amen.

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Go

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

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

David Burroughs

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