Advent is not just a remembrance of Christ’s arrival but also his return. The parable of the wise virgins reminds us to be prepared to wait and endure until he comes again.
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
We approach this often misunderstood event in the Christmas story by looking at three topics related to the Wisemen's journey: their decision to go; a dangerous detour; and a different way home.
After Jesus was born Magi came from the East to Bethlehem.
By giving a few examples of the wrong way to pray, Jesus teaches that we should pray in solitude, with sincerity and with simplicity.
The Lord's prayer gives us some insight into the great privilege and power all believers possess when they pray.
The Magi received the Word of God in Jerusalem, and the illumination of the star (the work of the Holy Spirit) led them to Christ.
God's character is publicly slandered because of man's choices: “If God is good, why is the world so bad?”
Jesus is the King of the nations who brings peace and salvation and demands our allegiance.
The humanist vision of the future is to bring rebirth by controlling people; the biblical vision is that the powerful work of the Holy Spirit will transform people. When we try to change people by our own power we end up sinfully dominating and controlling others. We are called to serve, not change, others. We cannot make a new creation out of anyone; only God can. In seeking the kingdom and righteousness of God, we seek God's purposes instead of instant personal satisfaction. We exercise a power and authority from beyond history, for the good of future generations.
We're not strong enough to hold onto the cross in the storms of life; the gospel is that Jesus is holding on to me.