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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When they heard the king, they went; and look, the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stood over the place where the child was. 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. Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.

Matthew 2:9-12

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When I was a youth, my church youth group performed a living nativity where we reenacted the story Jesus’ birth. During those years, I played a Magi many times. As I reflect back on that experience, I remember how much we focused on the giving of gifts. However, when I look at this passage now, I realize there’s a more important part that I’ve often overlooked. Before they presented Jesus with the gifts, they fell to their knees and honored him.

What does it really means to honor someone? Over the years, I’ve received many gifts from many wonderful people who have “honored” me for various reasons. Here’s the truth, I don’t remember all the gifts I received, but what I do remember are the relationships and the love I felt for the people who took the time to be with me.

It’s not about giving the best gifts; instead, it’s the selfless acts and the giving of one’s time to be with another person that best honors others and honors God.

Jeremy Wilhelmi

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Lord, help me see that the value of relationships is far greater than the value of things. Help me be selfless to those I seek to honor... full of gratitude, humility, and love. Amen.

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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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