Advent Guide: Week 4 Weekend Devotion
December 20 - December 30
Star in the East
Scripture Readings: Matthew 2:1-2
By Doug Jones, Campus & Teaching Pastor, The Church at Woodbine
“’Where is He who has been born Kings of Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.’” Matthew 2:2
For the past few weeks we’ve been celebrating Advent, preparing our hearts as we joyfully prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Well, the wait is almost over. Christmas is upon us! Are you ready? Have you prepared your heart to worship the birth of our King?
As your family reads Matthew 2:1-2 today, notice that it says several “wise men” from the east traveled to Jerusalem, “to worship the King of the Jews.” How long do you think it took them to travel to Jerusalem? What do you think they were thinking and talking about on the way? What challenges do you think they faced in the desert? The heat and cold, the wind and sand, the lack of water, and the threat of being robbed or attacked by bandits were just some of the challenges they faced. It was NOT an easy journey. However, in spite of these dangers, I believe they were filled with joy and excitement as they thought about meeting the newborn King. Why? Because they had seen “His star.” Every night they saw the star in the night sky, guiding them, leading them, and reassuring them that the Messiah had come. And even though they had to travel for months, they would one day meet the King.
Matthew 2:1, says that the wise men arrived “unexpectedly in Jerusalem.” What do you think that means? I believe it means that no one was expecting to see the wise men because no one was expecting the birth of the Messiah. No one was looking for Him, and no one was paying attention to the promises that God gave in His Word. Had no one else noticed “the star” and asked, “What does this mean?” Were they so consumed with their own lives, their own goals, and their own burdens that they didn’t even care to notice the new star in the night sky? The story continues in Matthew 2:10; it says that, “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure.” Their journey was complete. They found Jesus! Did you know that one of Jesus’ names is the “Bright Morning Star” (Rev 22:16)? May He lead and guide us like the wise men, and may we be overjoyed beyond measure, because of Jesus this Christmas season.
Build Your Own Nativity: Today we use maps and apps on our phones to find places that we have never been. During the first century, people used the stars to guide them. The most important star to ever appear in the sky showed the wise men where they could find the Newborn King! As you add a star above your nativity scene today, talk about how you found your way to Jesus and how you can help others find their way to Him.