Rediscovering the Christmas Season: The Nativity

Visitors from the East

1 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men[a] from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose,[b] and we have come to worship him.”

3 King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. 4 He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”

5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:

6 ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
    are not least among the ruling cities[c] of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you
    who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’[d]”

7 Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. 8 Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

9 After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12 When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

 Matthew 2:1-12

The Nativity

Exposure: Read about the kings who came to worship Jesus. Look at the pieces of a nativity set and consider the features the artist used to show that the scene is centered on Christ.

Exploration: What do you think it would have been like to be right in the middle of that? What stance or position would you take in that scene?

Expression: The wise men worshiped Jesus by kneeling. Get on your knees and express to Him right now how much you love Him. How does just being in that position change the position of your heart?

Experience: The wise mean also worshiped by offering their best gifts. Think of a creative way to offer worship today that has nothing to do with singing.

Rediscovering the Christmas Season