Tag Archives: Jesus

Go Do Likewise

24. 2000 years later, we come with the shepherds, with the wise men, with Mary and Joseph; to worship Jesus and to wonder at the child who would save the world.
The focus of Advent is the coming of Jesus at Christmas and His return. As we have retold the Christmas story through the Huddersfield Parish Church Advent calendar we have encountered what it means that “God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit” is with us. We have heard and responded with small significant moments of worship, moved our focus from ourselves, beyond to focus on God and neighbour. This is the Jesus effect! From the Godly realm to a human state and earthly relationships. As Jesus said after the parable of the Good Samaritan – “Go, do likewise!

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Not Just for Christmas

23. The wise men gave myrrh, to show that Jesus would die.
The incarnation of Jesus is not just for Christmas. The wise men sensed there was something powerful in the birth of this child. Myrrh, a bye-product of incense resin, had been used in ancient burial rites for eons. So, these visitors might as well have given a coffin! A portent, a guess, a mistake, why would they make such an offering. I suppose any incarnation, fully valid, would have worked out in death or full humanity for Jesus would have been no more than a cheap trick or God playing at the human state. Did the wise men imagine the cross or were they just acknowledging the human frailty that must end?
Pray for those whose lives are ending at this time, those who you have loved and lost. Remember too through the gift of myrrh Jesus too followed that path – horribly in the cross.

Holy Smoke

22. The wise men gave frankincense, to show that Jesus was God.

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Other than the odd incense stick – frankincense is somewhat out of fashion. Yes, it still resides in some churches and eastern religions, but on the whole Frankincense only brings people into a state of coughing when liberally used. But in ancient time fragrant incense was seen as a pleasing offering and a symbol of prayers rising.
As you think today about this gift from the wise men ask yourself what would be a pleasing offering to God, this day. Make your prayer rise today as smoke from incense rises and fills a room. Show your understanding of Jesus as God.

Precious

21. The wise men gave Gold, to show that Jesus was a king


When recalling someone and the description ‘heart of gold’ is used, you are meant to imagine kindness in a most precious way. Strangely it suggests kindness so un-bling -like as you can imagine. It is more about the purity of gold which can be found even in its rawest state, nugget like in the dross of clay or silt. This is gold that is worthy of offering.

What offering of gold do you offer today?

Wishes

20. The wise men worshipped the child Jesus, and gave him three gifts.

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Magical three wishes are the staple of fairy stories. Placing yourself in the position of the wise men, worshipping, what three gifts would you offer the child Jesus? From the very heart of your being what would you give. Of all of the carols, “In the Bleak Mid Winter” holds a magical image in the last verse where Christina Rossetti manages to direct our thoughts in this matter of gifting Jesus.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;

If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;

Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart

Celebrity

19. The wise men left Herod, and followed the star all the way to Jesus.

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Herod was a celebrity of his day. Even though a puppet of Rome, he was famed and favoured, heralded as a leader and head of state; presumably rich and powerful. The Christmas story is full of the opposites that humanity tries to follow and comes up short. The wise men head for Herod seeking the ‘child born to be King’ and are disappointed with what they find. In their wisdom they follow the star and in their wisdom they find a celebrity fraud; a shell of what they seek.

Later and in a similar fashion, John the Baptist asked those seeking the Christ, ‘Who/what are you looking for?’ When we seek we will find -“All the way to Jesus.”

Following

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18. The wise men followed the star to find Jesus. But on the way, they met evil King Herod who heard about Jesus and wanted to kill him.

A great deal of my understanding of God comes from hymns. When I read this part of the story the tune for ‘the Summons’ rose as an ear worm. I checked the words and thought they related both to the wise men and to us. Just read slowly and wonder!
Will you come and follow me

if I but call your name?

Will you go where you don’t know

and never be the same?

Will you let my love be shown,

will you let my name be known,

will you let my life be grown

in you and you in me?
Will you leave yourself behind

if I but call your name?

Will you care for cruel and kind

and never be the same?

Will you risk the hostile stare

should your life attract or scare?

Will you let me answer prayer

in you and you in me?

 

Will you let the blinded see

if I but call your name?

Will you set the prisoners free

and never be the same?

Will you kiss the leper clean

and do such as this unseen,

and admit to what I mean

in you and you in me?

 

Will you love the ‘you’ you hide

if I but call your name?

Will you quell the fear inside

and never be the same?

Will you use the faith you’ve found

to reshape the world around

through my sight and touch and sound

in you and you in me?

 

Lord, your summons echoes true

when you but call my name.

Let me turn and follow you

and never be the same.

In your company I’ll go

where your love and footsteps show.

Thus I’ll move and live and grow

in you and you in me.