These reflections are designed to be done around the diner table, or even at bedtime. However, they can easily be adapted for small group discussions and reflection. However, you engage – let your heart adore Christ!
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star at its rising and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Messiah would be born.
“In Bethlehem of Judea,” they told him, “because this is what was written by the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah:
Because out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod secretly summoned the wise men and asked them the exact time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you find him, report back to me so that I too can go and worship him.” After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was—the star they had seen at its rising. It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overwhelmed with joy. Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their own country by another route.
- Matthew 2:1-12
God announced His birth to ordinary people and extraordinary people alike. God first revealed the news of Jesus’ birth to a group of shepherds out watching their sheep at night. God also revealed the news about His Son to a group of kings known as the Magi. These were very smart and educated men. They were rich and powerful, and came from far away to meet the young boy Jesus.
It took the Magi a long time to find Jesus, but they kept on looking for Him. When they finally found Jesus, they entered His home and worshipped Him, even presenting to him very expensive gifts.
Why do you think the shepherds and the Magi were so determined to find Jesus?
Why do you think the Magi presented Jesus such extraordinary gifts?
Commentary: All the way through the Advent story we see God is so kind. He wants everyone to know about the Messiah – the Rescuer! He wants everyone to know Jesus and He appears to all different kinds of people. Regular, ordinary people like shepherds. Very wealthy and powerful leaders like the Magi.
God wants them to know Jesus and love, trust and obey Him. One day everyone will worship Jesus – whether they want to or not. But God wants us to see how amazing Jesus is and worship him with our hearts today.
SONG: As a family, sing or listen to “We Three Kings”. Take a few moments to explain some of the words and themes of the song.
ACTIVITY: Just as the Magi brought nice gifts to Jesus as an act of worship, we too can give gifts as an act of worship. Gather a few of your nice toys (ones gently used) and donate them to a local charity to repurpose them for kids in need. Also, consider using some of your allowance or piggy bank money to purchase a new toy for someone in need.
PRAYER: As a family, pray for someone(s) who you want to hear the Good News that Jesus loves them and desires to be their Savior. Pray for them to trust, love, and obey Jesus!