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. Peyton Grace Potts says:

    The wise men had complete faith in God. They started their journey by following a star which is kind of crazy. When they found the child, they were overwhelmed with joy. Is this how I feel in the presence of the Lord? After they saw Christ, they trusted God and went home a different way. This could’ve led to their death if Harold ever found them. Also, I really like the Jeremiah passage. It’s a great reminder that God can always change our sorrow into joy!

  2. Dawn Andreassen says:

    The Thrill of Hope, Advent Study has been a double dose of BEAUTY, GOODNESS and TRUTH in my life this precious season!
    May we be reminded each day of HIS story to RESCUE + REDEEM His people…and remain AWESTRUCK and OVERWHELMED with JOY … just like the magi!!!
    HE is Immanuel—God with us!
    Blessings to overflowing to your sweet team at She Reads Truth!!!♥️

  3. Pam K says:

    I am struck today by the Lord’s provision for Mary and Joseph and how He led them. We can rely on Him to do the same for us if we keep looking to Him. The Jeremiah passage really encouraged me today with “There is hope for your future, that is the Lord’s declaration!” Of course we have Hope, as we are a people of hope, but my Hope can wain as I spend time looking down or listening to the world. All of this was a great reminder of where to keep my focus as we approach a new year with definite challenges in our lives. Thanks to each of you for your comments and SRT for this excellent Advent study.

  4. Maura says:

    O Holy Night indeed. The night our Saviour God came into the world to bring us life and everlasting light, forgiveness through His sacrifice. What a gift He is. May the world rejoice. May we bring Him glory and praise our precious Lord.

  5. Kathy says:

    Hi Jen – the prophecy you refer to was the one spoken to the shepherds by the angel on the night of Jesus’ birth. The Magi were “following the star” as stated in Matthew 2.

  6. Jen says:

    Why does the prophecy say you will find Him lying in a manger

  7. Sarah W says:

    This was so great to read this morning.
    Even in our exhausted state of being human, experiencing life, family, holiday traditions and whatever other exhausting distractions we may have, we need to be like the Magi and continue on until we meet Jesus and worship Him!

  8. April MacDicken says:

    O Holy Night is my favorite as well. Thank you for the beautiful study and countless moments of insight and joy it brought to my holiday celebration.

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