Bringing Baby Jesus Home Week #4


Each year our boys are in charge of setting up the manger scene.  They do a great job and this year they learned something new about the placement of characters. My Father (a brilliant writer, teacher, speaker and man of God) mentioned that the wisemen needed to be placed on top of the refrigerator. The boys looked at him, waiting for the punch line – but there wasn’t one – my Dad was right.

The wisemen traveled over 800 miles to follow the star they saw in the East. This group of scholars was accustomed to meeting Kings and dignitaries during their travels.  Being the type-A, plan-every-step and test-every-theory folks that they were; the men carried perfumes, precious metals and spices with them on this long but very important trip.  Scholars believe that Jesus was a toddler by the time the wisemen arrived, thus the placement on top of the refrigerator.

As a church we celebrate the wisemen’s arrival during the Season of Epiphany.  In fact, this Friday, January 6th we will celebrate the 12th day after Christmas – Epiphany.

The term “epiphany” means to show, reveal or have a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.  This Friday we will celebrate how the wisemen revealed Jesus to be the Lord of Lords and the important revelation of Jesus to the Gentiles.

The wisemen recognized who Jesus was and after hearing from an angel not to return to King Herod (Matthew 2:12) they obeyed and protected this precious child.

Most of us have heard these stories before but I wonder if we’ve really taken time to apply this story to our own life.

Isn’t it interesting how God told the shepherds versus how He told the Wisemen? I couldn’t stop thinking about the shepherds, in the field, their faces illuminated with the glory of the angels singing praises to God and announcing Jesus’ birth. Can you imagine their amazement and excitement?  I think (this is my opinion, not a theological statement) God knew that the Shepherds needed to hear the specifics of who they were going to see, why it was important that they go and how to find the child. The Shepherds were brave, but not necessarily educated people. This isn’t to say they weren’t of great value – Jesus referred to Himself as the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:14) and He cares for us just like those men watched over and protected their sheep.

I have learned in my short parenting life that God sends “angels” to tell me what is happening, where to go, what to look for and how to respond. These angels come in the form of my family members, my husband, my friends and the many wonderful authors that I learn from. Sometimes I need God to make things super clear and help me in my journey toward an epiphany.  I’ve experienced some of my best “ah-ha” moments while listening to other moms share their stories and strategies.

I think God knew that the Wisemen would be looking to the stars in the Heavens before they would ever believe in an angel or look to God for guidance. He used something of this world, astrology, to help these men find their way to the Christ. They knew enough of prophecy to make a connection. The men had to bring King Herod up to speed when they quoted Isaiah 7:14 to Herod and asked where the king of Jews had been born (Matthew 2:2-6).

The Wisemen and the shepherds knew the King of the Jews would come – but they didn’t know how or when. Through angels and stars both groups discovered their Jesus and how the world was going to be changed forever.

So the real question for us is: how has Jesus changed our home? What Epiphany has occurred because Jesus has been discovered and welcomed in?

Maybe this year we’ll decide a television show or radio station isn’t allowed into our home or minds. Maybe we’ll renew our commitment to our spouse and find time to look at each other and just connect. Perhaps we’ll discover something new about our child’s personality or interests and in turn help that child discover more about their role in making this world a better place….it really is amazing what could happen when we allow Jesus to be our Epiphany! He works in so many wonderful ways doesn’t He!?!?!

I love that the Christmas story doesn’t end on December 25th, we get to celebrate again on Friday!

It might sound a bit odd, but this year I’m going to participate in a ‘m going to participate in an old European tradition of marking the doorway of our house with these symbols:

20+C+B+M+12

The numbers represent the year: 2012

The Crosses between each symbol represent Christ

The letters serve a dual purpose: They are the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They also serve as an abbreviation for the Latin phrase Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless the house.”

This marking isn’t meant to be something that is worshipped, but instead I want it to be a reminder to me that I’ve asked Christ to bless my home and in turn I want to be a blessing to the people who live here.  Maybe you have something written on your wall or hanging above your door that serves as a reminder to you too…the wording isn’t as important as the intentionality and meaning behind the symbols.

No matter how you chose to celebrate I hope you’ll find time to talk with your family about Epiphany and hear from them how they would like for Christ to reveal Himself in their lives this coming year.

This is a beautiful time of discovery – would you leave a comment about how your family is celebrating or discussing Epiphany?  Have you had an epiphany of your own concerning how Jesus fits into your home and your calling? Please share with us – we need to hear and be encouraged through you!

You are wonderful!

Kasey

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