Scripture Reading:

Matthew 2:1-12

On coming to the house, they saw the child . . . and they bowed down and worshiped him.

Matthew 2:11

We have heard the story of the angels appearing to the shepherds (Luke 2). And we have heard the shepherds’ response. In the song “Angels, from the Realms of Glory” those details are celebrated again. And in stanza 3 of this song we also hear about “sages,” wise men from the east, who come to worship Jesus, the newborn King.

In the church calendar the story of the wise men, or Magi, is associated with Epiphany (January 6), but it connects with the Christmas story as well.

The book of Matthew explains that “Magi from the east” came to Jerusalem to honor a new king. These wise men studied the stars, and they had seen a special star that signified the birth of a king.

The Magi referred to this newborn as the “king of the Jews.” It is interesting to note that they knew this child was already a king. And once they found him, they bowed down and worshiped him.

As we see in the Christmas story, everyone responds in wor­ship: the angels burst into song, glorifying God; the shepherds go to find the baby, and they praise God for all they have heard and seen; and the Magi find the child Jesus and worship him.

In “Angels, from the Realms of Glory,” we are all encouraged to respond in the same way: “Come and worship, come and worship, worship Christ, the newborn King!”

Lord Jesus, as we celebrate Christmas, may we remember that you are and always have been the King we are called to worship. Amen.

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