“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2
The three Wise men went to Bethlehem seeking a blessing as well as bringing their gifts as an act of worship. What was the gift that they were seeking? His presence. Sometimes with the rush of things to do at Christmastime, whether in the church or in the world we are part of, it is easy to lose sight of Jesus, and realize that we are not present with Him. In our attempt to bless others at Christmas, we must first be blessed by our Lord by intentionally practicing His presence in our lives. As we do, we will find the Joy and Peace of Christmas.
That is the first Wise Blessing of Christmas to seek. Once we have it, then we can find the Second Blessing of Christmas; sharing His Love. The Lord will provide us with many opportunities to share His Love openly with our family and friends. For those that know the Lord, it will be a welcome reminder of His desire to being fully present with us. For those that do not know the Lord, His message will resonate with something deep inside of them, even if they don’t acknowledge it or are even contrary. Sharing Jesus is the best gift to give to people.
The Third Blessing of Christmas flows from the Second. It is the blessing of Compassion. As we all live in plenty, we realize that there are many who are in need. Work with others to find a way to bring company to the lonely, nurturing to the needy, healing for the hurting, and encouragement for the down in heart. We can find the friends in our congregations and in the community. Do you know someone who will be spending his or her first Christmas after losing a loved one, or lost a job, or is ill with little hope of recovery? These folks can be easily overlooked in our desire to help needy children and families in the community. Take time to be present with someone who needs a touch from the Lord.
In finding these blessings this Christmas, you will also find that you have begun relationships to build on. Following through on this will be an ongoing blessing to you as well as the person you are sharing with. And, it is a blessing to the Lord, more precious than any of the gifts of the Wise Men.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
-- Isaiah 61:1-3