I stayed up late last night creating a little outfit my little man to wear in the live nativity at school. Next Friday he will be one of the three kings–he gets to be the Ethiopian king! I had 2 choices in creating a turban. Either I could watch this you tube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7RMH873lR0 (nice, but no thanks) OR I could get out my hot glue gun and hot glue fabric to one of our many Bob the Builder hats. I chose to skip the 7 minute tutorial and use hot glue instead:). I wish you could have seen the look on Parker’s face this morning when I showed him over breakfast this…
I told him the clear jewels are diamonds to show his wealth and the white fresh water pearls…are tiger teeth…to show his bravery:). Parker loves when I make things a little more descriptive. (My apologies to any PreK friends who now think the wise men came with tiger teeth to bring their gifts…I mean, you NEVER know;) We had to have this ready for school today so they can practice all next week…but he couldn’t wait to try everything on.
The magi’s top cloak is hand sewn with love from our Wiphan widows! On a side note, if you want to know more about our ministry in Zambia and how you can be a part of life change to widows and orphans this Christmas, check out http://www.wiphan.org/! Didn’t our ladies do a beautiful job with this top! So…our little Magi is the Ethiopian king with a shout out from Zambia!
I tried to get him to take this to carry his gift in…
Wouldn’t that have been COOL?! BUT, he opted for the more humble container hand carved by our Zambian friend who made this for Laney to keep her jewelry in. By the way, the woodcarver in Zambia is now going to be TEACHING our widows WOODCARVING! And they can sell what they make in the market! YAY! Here is our little Magi’s gift carrier for the nativity…
It’s funny how the Three Kings keep coming up this season. Have you EVER really sat and listened to the all of the words of the hymn “We Three Kings of Orient Are”?! They are SO powerful. [See all the lyrics here] Talk about worship as the hymn walks you through the symbolism of each gift!!! And for those of you who celebrate St.Nicholas (I confess…we are Santa fans…stone me, roll my yard, send me emails…but we saturate Christmas with the story of Jesus…but we also enjoy the fun of Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and I even try to catch my shadow like Peter Pan for the kids for fun;). OK…back on track…but did you know that St.Nicholas actually paved the way for the hymn “We Three Kings”?! STRANGE…BUT TRUE!
After the War of 1812, Anglicans in America decided to establish their own seminary for training Episcopalian ministers. The school was voted for in 1817 and was put in New York City. Clement Clarke Moore (son of NY’s Episcopalian Bishop) was a landscaper and wrote the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” His poem made him famous and a sought after worker. To make a long story short, Moore became wealthy, gave his land for the seminary to be built on and became an instructor there of Biblical languages. One of his students John H. Hopkins Jr wrote the hymn “We Three Kings of Orient Are” for a school Christmas pageant in 1857. Isn’t it amazing how all things happen for the glory of God! Without the written words “But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”…Moore would have never been heard of…he would have never become wealthy…the seminary may not have been built…and this worshipful hymn is actually born out of one of our favorite poems about Christmas. SO COOL! I’m sure Moore was wondering at the time why in the WORLD the Lord wanted him to write a poem about Santa…but look what happened through it!
And that reminds me of the obedience of the wise men. Have you ever wondered how FAR and how long they must have traveled? To the world, I know their journey did NOT make sense? I rarely reflect on their journey and how hard this was…men of stature and looked up to in their society…traveled days, weeks, months…COUNTRIES away to see the baby that had been prophesied about. I wonder how many times they wanted to turn around—how many times they looked at each other and said, “What are we doing?! Are we seriously following a star?!” Yet, they continued to LOOK UP following the star in the east.
Then one day the star finally stopped over where the child was AND THEY WERE FILLED WITH JOY. Then what happened? They bowed down and WORSHIPPED. Faithful obedience will always lead to worship. Always. Why? Because God’s will for YOUR life according to His word is good, pleasing and PERFECT (Romans 12:1-2). Do you feel the Lord calling you to do something? Continue in something? Are you in the middle of a process that just seems crazy to the rest of the world? Do you just some times wonder like the wise men probably did, “Will we ever get there?!” Obedience will always end in worship—because this is HOW GOOD the LORD and HIS WILL for your life is!!!
For those of you on a journey of obedience, reflect and remember the journey of the wisemen this Christmas. It was one of looking UP. Following the Light. Trusting in the Lord. And maintaining hope in what the Lord has called you to. And when days are hard—REMEMBER above everything…that your journey, like the wisemen, will end in worship!!! His plans for you are GOOD, PLEASING and PERFECT…and the One who calls you is faithful, and he will continue to be faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
My friends—I am running this marathon with you—praying for many of you and excited…SO EXCITED…to hear one day your stories of worship!
5th Refrain of “We Three Kings of Orient Are”
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 of royal beauty bright;
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.