Friday 06 January 2017

Bible Book:

“On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage.” (v. 11)

Matthew 2:1-12 Friday 6 January 2017

Psalm: Psalm 72


The Christmas stories of Jesus work at different levels, drawingus in and intriguing us with wonder and mystery. They are first andforemost stories, and it helps to think through the context inwhich they were written. The early Church didn't hear the story ofWise Men from the East as evidence that Jesus was special. It wasthe other way around. They knew Jesus was special and so they toldstories about his birth.

Look back to Colossians 1:15-20! From very early in theChurch's growth people who knew Jesus as the son of a carpenterwere speaking of him as the "image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15). Or look at John's Gospelabout Jesus being "the Word of God" (John1:1-18). Their conversation about Jesus, crucified and risen,was already stretching their minds into places that must have beenhard for them to go. From such an overwhelming sense of who Jesuswas, stories of his birth were told. They are stories that holdtruth that simply cannot be told in another way. We can't 'get tothe meaning of them' without destroying the meaning, we can onlyhear them and enjoy them. They are theological stories in that theyhold meaning about the nature of God that had been revealed in theteaching and ministry of Jesus.

Today we probably want to ask modern questions of such a story:Is it true? Did it happen in exactly this way? Were there reallythree wise men?'. But these questions spoil the story. It is meantto be entered into and not taken apart. Children probably do thisbetter than adults and their wonder at ancient texts may inspire usto also worship the Christ child.

To Ponder

  • As you read again this account, what phrase or word strikesyou?
  • As you think of that word or phrase, of what does it remind youin today's world or in your life?
  • In the light of that, what might you say to God?
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