Pause

First, God said Christ would come.

Next, Christ came.

Then, he served.

Now, he lives in you.

Take these next few minutes to look deep within yourself to see the presence of Christ, alive in you!

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Listen

When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and everyone in Jerusalem was troubled with him. He gathered all the chief priests and the legal experts and asked them where the Christ was to be born. They said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote:

You, Bethlehem, land of Judah, by no means are you least among the rulers of Judah, because from you will come one who governs, who will shepherd my people Israel.

Then Herod secretly called for the magi and found out from them the time when the star had first appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you’ve found him, report to me so that I too may go and honor him.”

Matthew 2:3-8

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Think

At the mall, I ran into one some of the “cool kids” from school. One of them asked me to buy him a slice of pizza because he was broke and really hungry. My middle school-aged brain was excited that one of the “cool kids” actually talked to me, so I bought him a slice. I thought by doing that I would somehow be promoted into the “cool kids” group, but it didn’t take long before I discovered that wasn’t the case. Shortly after, his friends were laughing at me because he was just taking advantage of how gullible I was. He had money, but wanted to spend mine instead of his. I felt foolish.

It’s sometimes hard to know when you’re being tricked. Thankfully, the Magi knew Herod was lying to them and prevented him from finding and killing Jesus.

But God is never disappointed in us if we are tricked. Instead, God uses our weaknesses to teach us our strengths. I’ve always tried to express gratitude to those who are generous to me.

Jeremy Wilhelmi

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Pray

Holy God, guide me to be honest, trustworthy, and generous with the gifts I have been given. May my actions never be for selfish gain at the expense of another person’s kind heart. Amen.

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Go

O star of wonder, star of night, / Star with royal beauty bright. / Westward leading, still proceeding, / Guide us to thy perfect light.

from “We Three Kings” by John Henry Hopkins, Jr. (1857)

Jeremy Wilhelmi

Jeremy Wilhelmi is the Chaplain at University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas. He has been an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) for over 12 years. Jeremy tries to find little ways to express joy each day. As of late, Jeremy has grown quite the collection of socks with all kinds of personality to them. He decided solid-colored socks were just not joyful enough.

Bid All Our Sad Divisions Cease

Nathan Hanson

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