Experience Christmas is a 19-day devotional series based on the Scriptural narrative and aimed at creating space during a beautiful, but hectic time of year to wonder at the miracle of Christmas. You’re joining us on day seventeen, with music from Kari Jobe and a look at the two kingdoms that wage war at the manger.
The Magi leave Jerusalem with Herod’s blessing to pursue the Child, and that night find again the brilliant star in the sky that started them on their journey. It led them through the quiet streets of Bethlehem right to Mary and Joseph’s home where they get their very first glimpse of Jesus.
All the nights of searching, waiting, longing, hoping fulfilled in an instant with one look at God’s promise made flesh.
One by one they approach, bowing down, faces and hearts to the ground before their King to worship. Each Magi in turn, approaches with a gift meant to honor Him; gold fit for the King of all kings; frankincense for the Priest who would stand between God and Man; and Myrrh for the Savior who would die in our place.
I can see Mary overwhelmed by this outpouring of love for her son – God’s Son – tucking away this moment deep in her mother’s heart, willing it to last forever.
They see. They know. They understand.
This Child. God’s promise and plan. This Light that broke through the shadows of her own heart has now pierced the darkness in another, as light is always meant to do.
Having completed their journey, filled to the full of God’s goodness, the Magi are warned in a dream to stay clear of Herod and travel home a different way. Herod, eventually learning of their betrayal, sends orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem, hoping to extinguish the Light.
Holy. Omniscient. Omnipotent. Omnipresent God.
Has already warned Joseph in a dream to escape to Egypt until the time is right to bring them back home to Nazareth.
Until the time is right to share this Light with the whole world.
There are always two kingdoms at odds at the manger.
Like the Magi, like Herod, it is impossible to come to Jesus, and leave unmoved or indifferent. There is either a falling-down-to-worship experience, or the defense of your own kingdom.
Your way. Or God’s.
When you really experience Christmas, when you truly understand the Savior and the lengths He took to win your heart, you understand there is a choice you have to make.
And only you can make it.
- What Kingdom are you right-now living for?
- What would surrender to the Kingdom of God look like for you?
- How can you “come and adore” Jesus this Christmas?
Ask God to shine a light into the current condition of your heart and ask Him what the next steps of your faith journey should look like.
Search our hearts oh Lord. Help us to surrender the parts of our lives that we try to hold back from you. Help us to come to you in the spirit of the Magi, worshipping with abandon and giving our very best. God help us to meet you at the manger and adore.
For a complete list of devotional posts visit the Experience Christmas series page. Sign up to receive posts directly via email by completing the online subscription form and join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter by using the hashtag #ExperienceChristmasDevotional.