Day 27

The Magi Visit the Christ Child

from the Advent 2019: A Thrill of Hope reading plan


Matthew 2:1-23, Jeremiah 31:15-17

BY Bailey Gillespie

Our family has had our share of Christmas tradition fails over the years: unsuccessfully freezing molasses candy in snow-packed iron skillets, forming popcorn balls that dripped corn syrup all over the floor, crafting handmade cards that took about 200 hours to make. But one of our favorite traditions that stuck—even better than the corn syrup—was beginning the season by listening to Steven Curtis Chapman’s 1995 version of “O Holy Night.” My mom has always connected to the more traditional songs of worship, so it makes sense that this hauntingly beautiful hymn is her favorite. The hymn writer coaxes us to “fall on our knees” while remembering the “night of our dear Savior’s birth.” Although the wise men came to worship Jesus some two years after His birth (Matthew 2:2,7,16), these lyrics mirror the conclusion of the Christmas story we find in the second chapter of Matthew.

The magi were overwhelmed with joy when they found the Christ child and discovered that their journey was not in vain (Matthew 2:10). Can you imagine the feeling? Without knowing exactly how far the magi journeyed before finding Jesus, we see that after entering the house, they fell on their knees. I imagine that after traveling so far, they would have been ready to collapse just about anywhere, but their first response was to fall to their knees in worship. After that moment of adoration, the magi “opened their treasures and presented [Jesus] with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (v.11).

Maybe today we’ve lost a little of this reverence. When did we last feel compelled to worship simply from encountering Jesus, outside all the trappings? Personally, I know that sometimes the beauty of a piece of music or a landscape or a fulfilled dream can more commonly elicit awe than the presence of my Savior. What a tragic loss! He is the giver of all good things, and to mistake these things for anything more significant than God Himself robs us of encountering Him.

Even if kneeling, falling prostrate, or another posture of worship doesn’t come naturally for us, let us stay open to the wonder of God’s presence this year. As the beloved hymn goes:

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees, oh hear the angel voices
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night divine, O night, O night divine

As we celebrate the first Sunday of Christmastide, and the last day of our Advent study, may we continue to worship Christ with everything we have. What gifts can you lay before Him in worship? Even though, here at the close of 2019, we know how the Christmas story ends, I pray we still find ourselves awestruck and overwhelmed with joy, just like the magi. God be with you, friends, now and in the coming year.

Post Comments (22)

22 thoughts on "The Magi Visit the Christ Child"

  1. Courtney says:

    Have a blessed, safe and joy-filled new year, my sisters in Christ!

  2. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray that I would be awestruck in his presence today and everyday. I have to admit that I’m feeling some post Christmas blues, but I must remember that Christ is still with me and the gift of his presence, even if Christmas is over. May I choose to walk in the joy of that truth today, and I pray I would worship him today.

  3. Diana Fleenor says:

    Just as I came to this devotion, I was praying for strength. My daughter and son-in-law came in yesterday and we have already had wonderful Christ-centered conversations which fill my soul with joy. But my body is losing steam (part of my chronic illness). In thinking about the traditions of yesterday’s devotion that I’d hope to make new ones this year, I’ve realized that some of what was on my mind probably won’t happen so not to push too hard physically. I had laid this out to the Lord just prior to reading this and I see him speaking to me through the ideas of what is truly a great tradition is to experience the presence of Christ. I can say this has already happen through the simple conversations. For this I too worship the Christ child who grew into a man who took away the sins of the world through is blood sacrifice. It is enough!

    Thanks for your prayers I asked for yesterday. I can testify to the Lord moving in my family in a notable way. Blessings to all of you!

  4. Chris Swan says:

    I have been searching for my word for2020. I just found it. Awestruck!!

  5. Ashley P. says:

    I’ve been thinking about the wise men…I wonder if they felt guilt or shame for talking to Herod about the prophecy of the Messiah and Herod reacting by having all the infant boys murdered? Of course, they must not have realized he’d lose it like he did, but I wonder if they regretted telling him still. But.. I also wonder if they realized that their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh may have helped Jesus his family escape to Egypt? If it weren’t for their gifts, it’d have been difficult for Joseph and Mary to afford to flee to safety. I even wonder if maybe the wise men were able to help any other children escape once they got word of Herod’s murderous plot.

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