After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:9-11 NAS
Can you imagine hearing a knock on your door and the shock as you open the door and see joy-filled magi standing there? I suspect that Mary and Joseph were still pondering the shepherds' story of the multitude of angels who appeared to them in the field while they were tending their flocks and told them of the “Good news of great joy for all people!” The shepherds' visit was an extraordinary surprise the night of Jesus’ birth, but now magi were dropping to their knees and worshipping Jesus the moment they saw Him. Pause for a moment and imagine the scene, imagine the emotions running through Joseph and May, the looks on their faces and the sound of their hearts pounding in their chest as the sight and sound of the magi’s worship filled their hearts as well as their home.
What fills your home at Christmastime? Beautiful songs and smells as Christmas music plays and you bake the days away? Warm lights and decorations that bring back memories or tender times and treasured traditions? Do gift wrap and bows overflow in that room where you keep the door closed so curious eyes don’t catch a glimpse of the gifts that will bring squeals of delight on Christmas morning? We pray that these blessings and more are transforming your home this season, but so much more, we pray that worship is filling your heart and overflowing to your lips.
The magi arrived rejoicing “exceedingly with great joy,” and that is our prayer for you. Christmas can also be filled with a variety of emotions and expectations that can cause us to surrender our joy if we are not careful. Before the cookies, trees, and wreaths we need to be determined that Christmas will be filled with awe-filled joyful worship in our hearts and homes.
Anything that overwhelms us and robs us of the one true reason we celebrate in this season is not worth the loss of worship. Start early, rotate traditions over the years if necessary, instead of piling them all into every year. Write down all the things you enjoy doing and put them into a box or jar and let your family pull out one a week or day throughout the month or stretch them out throughout the month and not just the week of Christmas. These are just suggestions to help you prioritize wonder-filled worship with Jesus before all the wonderful things that we look forward to with family and friends.
The magi could have walked in and immediately laid their expensive gifts at the feet of Jesus and talked about all that they went through to watch for Him and all they went through to travel to Him, but their wisdom led them to seek Him so they could worship Jesus before bringing out their gifts from their great wealth, and never bringing up the work involved to get to Him. Would you please join us in worshipful prayer right now?
King of Kings and Lord of Lords, You alone are worthy of our worship. You are not only the reigning reason for this season, but for every moment of every day, every beat of our hearts, and every breath we take. We are Your workmanship, Your beloved children; help us to experience Christmas with a worshipful heart and the wonder as a child of our Heavenly Father. Remind in the midst of the shopping, wrapping, cooking, and decorating to pause frequently to pause to pray and worship You. I choose to seek You, worship You, keep my heart and home focused on You. You are my King and it is in Your wonderful name we pray and praise You, Amen!
Serving Him with gladness,
President, National Day of Prayer Task Force