Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Merry Christmas To All

Matthew 2:11

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

RayMcDMerry Christmas to all! I want to wish each and every one a Merry Christmas. May God bless you real good today and I don’t mean with some gift that someone may or may not be giving you! I mean with the love of Christ and the love of Christ working through you and others.

I’ve been writing most of the month about Christmas (have you enjoyed the Christmas Praises folks have shared?). I prepared for a long weekend this year with Christmas Eve on a Saturday and Christmas on a Sunday. My Christmas Eve is usually pretty busy with three services (4 – 7 – 11 pm). I will not arrive home – once I leave for church – until well past 1 am on Christmas Day. There is a part of me that is glad that we don’t have little ones to prepare for on Christmas morning (at home – not counting the grandchildren) – because this old salt would be one tired puppy if I had to put together a bunch of Christmas toys or bikes before the children woke. On the other hand – I will miss the joy of seeing little children opening their gifts and their giggles as they find something special under the tree for them! I hope the grandchildren give me that thrill again this year or real soon.

As I sip on my hot chocolate and listen to Pentatonix sing Christmas songs on YouTube I am reminded of the gifts that we give and receive at Christmas. Gifts have been a part of Christmas since the first Christmas! Continue reading

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December 26, 2016 Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Christmas, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

They Were Overjoyed

Matthew 2:10

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

RamonBlogThey were overjoyed!  Matthew was writing about the Magi.  Magi are astrologers – persons who follow the stars.  In some translations we get Wise Men or Kings.  Some have suggested that they were Persian – some that they came from the Orient.  They came from a far the story tells us – from the East.

The Three Kings – Wise Men or Magi – are named in some traditions.  The number three probably came from the number of gifts offered.  According to one tradition their names were – Melchior (a Persian scholar) – Caspar (an Indian scholar) and Balthazar (an Arabian scholar).

A significant point – and excuse me for ruining your nativity scenes at home – but the Magi probably didn’t visit the manger scene.  According to the Biblical report they came later – probably to Mary and Joseph’s home.  It may have been months or even years later.  Let’s read today’s passage in a larger context.

Matthew 2:1-12 – 1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi  from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ ” 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Magi traveled many miles over desert and over a period of time – maybe even years.  As they approached they were overjoyed.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.

Have you ever had a long journey – one that taxed you and those traveling with you – and felt the relief or the joy of arriving?  The object of their travels – the One they sought after – was finally before them and they were overjoyed.

My prayer for all who read this devotional thought is that we will come into the presence of Jesus this Christmas season and be overjoyed.  Merry Christmas to you and yours and may God bless you!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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December 19, 2012 Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey | , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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