The First 15

Monday December 27, 2021

by Sharon Reid

Today is Monday, December 27, and this week we are exploring what the Bible says about finding Christ.

Opening Prayer

As I enter into prayer, I pause to be still, to slow down my breathing, and to be more fully present with God in these moments.

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, help me release my worries and concerns into your care as I rest with you in these moments of stillness. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I choose to find rest and confidence in God today, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 62.

Truly my soul finds rest in God;

my salvation comes from him.

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;

my hope comes from him.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. – Psalm 62:1, 5-6 NIV

Pause and Pray

Today I am reflecting on the story of the birth of Jesus and the experience of the Magi, or wisemen, who came from far away to find him.


After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. – Matthew 2:1-2, 11 NIV

Reflection

We don’t know much about the Magi. They are only mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew, and with very few details. Many scholars believe they were astrologers from Persia. There is one thing that Matthew makes clear about them: they traveled on a pilgrimage from the east seeking a newborn king whose birth was of such magnitude that even the heavens took notice.

There are three things to look for while reflecting on scripture throughout the coming week that will help us find Christ.

Pilgrimage. A journey of seeking, often to a sacred place, as an act of devotion.

Incarnation. God became flesh and was born on earth as Jesus Christ, who was both fully human and fully divine. From the Apostles’ Creed, “He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.”

Epiphany. The revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi. Christians celebrate Epiphany on January 6 of each year. An epiphany is also a moment of sudden revelation or insight.

The pilgrimage of the Magi was a sign that the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ had been made known to all the earth. This epiphany was recognized by the heavens, so that even Gentile wisemen from the East came to kneel down and worship him.

Ask: Can I imagine being one of the Magi on this long pilgrimage to find a newborn king in a foreign land? When have I experienced a pilgrimage to a sacred place? Why is this practice of pilgrimage still important for me today?

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, guide me in my thoughts and help me notice what you want me to see and hear as I slowly read the passage once more.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. – Matthew 2:1-2, 11 NIV

Ask: What did the Holy Spirit guide me to notice this time as I read the passage?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me look inward and pay attention to what you have led me to see and hear. I invite you to transform me in these moments so that I might reflect the thoughts and actions of Jesus Christ throughout this day. Amen.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. – Psalm 29:1-3 NIV

Closing Prayer

Father, prepare me to live this day being faithful to you in every way. Jesus, help me serve others with your compassion and grace. Holy Spirit, transform my inner thoughts and motivations so that all I do, I do to please you. Amen.

The First 15

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