Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after the Second Sunday after Christmas

Posted on January 5, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Matthew 2:1-12 (NKJV)
2:1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
The star of Bethlehem leads the wise men to the Christ child. That event is commemorated tomorrow: “Epiphany”—the showing forth of Christ to all nations. This is significant because it means that Christ is not just for the people of Israel, but also for the Gentiles. That was God’s plan all along. He was going to redeem the whole world, all nations, but He was going to do that through one particular people, the people of Israel. That is why the Epiphany to the wise men is so significant, because those wise men are Gentiles, and they now are coming to the Christ. That means good news for us because our ancestors were Gentile nations, sitting in spiritual darkness. Christ is the Light of the World that comes to us and scatters the darkness of sin and death. Christ came and took all of our sins, and carried them to the cross.
The wise men were seeking “the one born king of the Jews,” and later the title above Him on the cross is: “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” The Messiah of Israel wins the salvation of the world by dying on the cross for sin. On the third day He rose again, bringing life and immortality to light. This good news is now preached around the world to all nations. Truly, He is the Light of the World.
Prayer: Almighty and Everlasting God, direct our actions according to Thy good pleasure, that in the Name of Thy Beloved Son, we may be made to abound in good works; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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