Today–we begin our traditional after Christmas journey…(you can begin this with your family ANY time after Christmas!)
The Journey of the Magi…
Matthew 2:1-2 “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
After the King was born–the day we celebrate on Christmas…isn’t this when the journey really begins?? Always looking for Jesus. Running towards Him. Longing to see Him. This. This is what I really want to teach my children.
So our journey now begins.
For many families–this is the time they start putting up their Christmas decorations. But for us, some will go up…but not our Magi or our manger scene. For the next couple of weeks–our Magi will journey through our home getting a little closer to the manger each day–a little closer to seeing Jesus. Each day will represent almost a months time in the actual magi’s journey as we remember the almost YEAR long journey it took for the magi to finally arrive to worship the king.
Each morning, the children will run down the stairs to find the magi…to see how far they have come from their last resting place. And each morning (or night when morning passes us too quickly by) we will sit with them as we reflect on their journey and what led them to continue toward the King NO MATTER WHAT.
This journey will inspire us in the year ahead–to continue to draw closer to Jesus.
This journey will remind us that the year ahead will not always be easy–but to trust in the One who is calling us.
This journey will bring us to our knees to worship…and remind us to bring our own gifts to Jesus…to bring glory to Him.
In our after Christmas craziness–putting things “back together”, I don’t want to forget there is something to be learned with the magi’s journey to Christ.
Yet, because their journey began after the birth of Christ–ours, too, would begin the day after Christmas–just after we celebrated the birth of Christ in our home.
For the next 2 weeks, our family devotionals will be centered around the wisemen and their journey to Jesus. We will explore the Journey of the Magi–where they were from, who they were, the star they followed…we will dream about what their journey must have been like together…and twists and turns they had to take to help protect Jesus from King Herod.
Our goal throughout the day EACH day: Throughout the day–like the wisemen…we will look for Jesus. We will look for His majesty in creation. We will look for Him in kindness and acts of love in others. And we will even look for Him in ourselves. Each night for the next 2 weeks, we will learn something new about the wisemen and their journey beginning first in Matthew’s account of the magi’s story, and we will end by sharing ways we saw Jesus that day.
Look for Him as you go throughout your day. In creation. In others. In acts of love and kindness. In your own heart. And carry that with you–throughout day remembering how you are seeing Jesus show up in your life and heart each day. Each day you can choose one of the ways you saw Jesus with your family.
After we have our devotional about the wisemen and their journey to see Jesus each day, we will each have a chance to share and write down a way you saw Jesus that day. We will put our “Jesus sightings” in a treasure box (similar to what we are imagining the wisemen to carry)…and at the end of our journey we’ll share them ALL over again at once and rejoice in all the ways we have seen Him during our journey!
Then, each night–after you go to bed–while you are sleeping…we will move the wise men a little bit closer to the manger scene! In the morning, you can run to find them to see how much closer they are to the manger scene–some where in our home. Some days it may seem they are off course–some days much too far away…and others–back on track…probably much like their journey often seemed throughout that year long journey to bring gifts to Jesus and worship Him. (Some nights–as a special treat–different children may be asked to move the magi closer to the King–to our nativity set too.)
We can confidently guess the journey of the Magi was between 1-2 years–so each of our days will represent a MONTH in our devotional time the next couple of weeks. Can you imagine traveling A YEAR to deliver gifts and see baby Jesus?! Can you imagine not knowing how long the journey would be but leaving your home country to follow a STAR of all things into the desert?! Can you imagine leaving to see a baby that you have been told is the Son of God?!
They left everything they knew and left believing in faith that God had called them to go despite what the world would say about them! They were trusted leaders–yet they left their honor and prestige and were probably called crazy in their going! Their journey is amazing—it is full of faith, wonder–and even adventure as they are tricked by King Herod but because they have learned to listen to and follow God they are redirected–and Jesus’s life is saved. They are redirected in the end down a more difficult route—but for His sake it would be worth it.
Has God ever asked you to do something that required a big step of faith like the magi? Although they might have felt alone and unsure at different points in the journey, God never left them–and they always had a bright star to lead them and remind them God was with them. Today is where our journey begins with the Magi.
Can you think of ONE way you have seen God today? Let’s share that with one another, write it down and put it in our treasure box to mark the beginning of our journey…
Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to us. Like the Magi, we want to follow your guidance–and today we come to worship You for loving us and sending your Son for us. Open our eyes so we may see You on our journey this year ahead. Lead and guide us–and use our gifts for Your glory.