25 Days of Christmas – December 23

SCRIPTURE

Matthew 2:1-12

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way.

And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

SONG

We Three Kings Of Orient Are

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again
King forever, ceasing never
Over us all to reign

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a Deity nigh
Prayer and praising, all men raising
Worship Him, God most high

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

Glorious now behold Him arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to heav’n replies

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light

ACTIVITY

Matthew tells us of wise men (traditionally there are 3 because there are 3 gifts) coming from another country, looking for the King of the Jews, reciting scripture. We don’t know how long it took them to get to where Jesus was, but it was probably after Jesus’s visit to the Temple at 8 days old, and probably less than 2 years after His birth. Whenever it was, God showed them the Star again that led them straight to young Jesus. What an amazing birth announcement! They were overjoyed and they worshipped Him and gave them gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Let’s make the Wise Men for the Nativity.

Make three wise men in the same way you made the other people in your Nativity, but dress these in fancy or shiny clothes and headpieces.

If you are painting wooden peg dolls, add a little glitter to the paint.

And idea if you want to make a camel (or a few camels: Cut out two cups from an egg carton (keep them attached). Those will be the camels humps. Paint or color them brown. Make the neck, head, and legs out of brown pipe cleaner.

Many people put the Wise Men at the manger scene. I prefer to put them somewhere else in the same room “on their way.” But where you display your Wise Men is completely up to you.

Don’t forget to make tiny gifts for your Wise Men to present to Jesus. These can be cut out of paper, molded with play-doh, etc.

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