Great Plains Daily Devotional for 1/6/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Harveyville UMC
Flint Hills District
Junction City: Church of Our Saviour UMC
Flint Hills District
Junction City: First UMC
Flint Hills District
Junction City: Korean UMC
Flint Hills District

Today's Lectionary Text

Matthew 2:1-12 

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Today's Devotional

We don’t know who or how many they were – or from what places they came. Church tradition says there were three of them – based on the three gifts that were named in Matthew’s Gospel. Tradition also gives them names – Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar – although those names are not found anywhere in the biblical account. But we do not know anything more about them than that they were wise men from somewhere far to the east of Judah. We can deduce from the story of the slaughter of the innocents that they from far enough away that it took them about two years to reach Bethlehem after the star of Bethlehem caught their attention.
I have often wondered what it was that made that star so compelling to the Magi that they would plan and execute an expedition from whatever places they called home to a small town of seemingly small importance in a land controlled by the Roman Empire. Of course, the simple answer is that it was part of God’s plan for Jesus’ life on earth. But God didn’t tell them to follow a star so far as we know. There was something significant about that star – whether it was just its brightness or something else – that drew them out on a long journey.
Whatever it was that inspired their journey, I am mindful that the journey of the Magi was only one of several journeys that figure in Jesus’ birth and life. There was the journey of Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Then, with the departure of the Magi, Joseph took Mary and Jesus on a journey to Egypt where they would remain until the death of Herod – and then make another journey back to Nazareth. There were journeys that Jesus undertook as a part of his earthly ministry.
--Rev. Robbie Fall, retired elder Hutchinson

Prayer for Reflection

Loving God, you sent your Son, your greatest gift, to redeem the world. Let us remember to proclaim Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection every day of our lives and praise your name in all things. Amen.


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