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. April MacDicken says:

    O Holy Night is my favorite

  2. Avery . says:

    I am struck in this reading by how much essential — life changing! — instruction was given in dreams. I dream, every night, vividly. How amazing it would be to have God or an angel appear in a dream and give me instruction or a personal message. Would I obey like Joseph?

  3. Avery . says:

    I am struck in this reading by the

  4. Churchmouse says:

    My oldest daughter gave me a gratitude journal for Christmas. I have begun to daily write down three “gifts,” three blessings, that Jesus gives to me. Already this simple action makes me more aware of His presence in my life, in the big and small things. As I open my gratitude journal, it becomes a doorway for worship. As I contemplate His gifts, I fall figuratively, and sometimes physically, to my knees. I’m counting my blessings on my way to and through 2020. I don’t want to miss a thing He has for me. I don’t want to take Him for granted. I want to recognize every day as holy.

    1. Holly Wright says:

      Thank you!!! I tend to get caught up in the “don’t haves” and the “why?? God!” (And Sometimes these are entirely appropriate for a season, I think) I hope to put the simple, yet ancient action of thankfulness, into practice from now on, too. Thankyou again for this gentle reminder.

  5. Chelsea Johns says:

    Thank you for this beautiful study. It kept me grounded in the Truth amidst the hustle of the holiday season. Happy New Year to all She Reads Truth ladies!

  6. Anna Lowe says:

    I have been so grateful for this study. My heart needed it. O Holy Night is one of my favorite hymns…it just touches my soul differently than others.

  7. Holly Wright says:

    O Holy Night! My favourite too! Along with O come O come Emmanuel! which often opens our Advent worship at the beginning of December. Two hymns that make an inclusio of sorts.
    Remembering the Magis’ worshipful attitude is a beautiful way to enter the New Year. Thank you, Bailey.

  8. Kristen says:

    Wow! Yes, Bailey may we be in awe of our Savior and fall on our knees! As you said, It is a tragic loss to put these other things before Him and be robbed of encountering Him. I’m guilty. I know about Him, but haven’t truly let Him have the place He deserves. He’s the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! He should be Lord over all of my life, yet I want control of some things. I don’t know better than He does, and I mess things up! When willI give Him control? I know that a real encounter with Jesus can change everything. A life and heart can be forever altered by knowing Him. May I change so much that people are dream to Him! Amen!

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