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"The Mysterious Visitors from the East"

Advent Devotions

Read Matthew 2:1-2.
Behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying,
"Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we
saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him."
Matthew 2:1B-2

Today is the ninth day of Christmas, and it's finally time to turn
our attention toward those wise men who are rounding the
bend and heading for home. One of my favorite Christmas
carols as a kid was "We Three Kings of Orient Are." It
always puzzled me that we never sang it in church until I
later realized the first line has three errors. First, they
weren't kings; they were scholars and astrologers who
advised kings. Second, they weren't from the Orient; they
probably came from Persia, Babylon, or Arabia. And third,
Matthew doesn't tell us there were three. He says there
were three gifts, but the number of wise men is unknown.
So that's a problem with the figures for my Nativity set.
There are three of them and they are all wearing crowns.
Oh, well ...

The intriguing thing about the wise men is that they followed
a star, and somehow they knew that star was indicating the
birth of a great king of the Jews. Perhaps God left them a hint
 through the great Jewish civil leader Daniel, and his friends
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who made a huge impact
on the Babylonian and Persian empires (see the book of Daniel
in the Old Testament). Perhaps it had something to do with a
record Daniel left in the official government records of Babylon
and Persia (see Daniel 2:44-45).

But, however the wise men came to know a king had been born
of the Jews, the wise men doggedly followed that star as God
slowly guided them to His perfect Light.

God guides us today too. Having revealed our Savior through His
Word, Holy Baptism, and the Sacrament of the Altar, God
continues to use His means of grace to guide us through our life's
journey. That is one of the reasons weekly worship is so vitally
important for us. God guides us and protects us from the
distractions of this world, and keeps us in the true faith until we
fall down and worship before Him in heaven.

In the meantime, as we continue on our journey, may God shine
through us and lead many people through the long night of this
sinful world to our heavenly home.


 Lord, let the light of Your Word and Sacraments continue to
guide, strengthen, and sustain us in our faith. And enable all of us,
Your children, to shine the light of Jesus our Savior to the ends of
the world. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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