Refresh: Open with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Matthew 2:1-12 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: The final gift is myrrh. This is the gift for one who is to die. Myrrh was used to embalm the bodies of the dead. Jesus came into the world to die. This gift was a prophetic in its nature. In 1807, Holman Hunt painted a famous picture of Jesus, called "The Shadow of Death."
When you look at this picture it shows Jesus at door of His carpenter shop. He is still young but as He stretches his arms, behind Him on the wall is the shadow of the cross.But Jesus came to this earth to overcome death so that we might live with Him forever. The three gifts were perfect:
Each of these gifts was part of a much larger narrative. What child is this? The child who would need the gold one day to escape the clutches of Herod and live in the foreign land of Egypt. The child who grew up sensing the fragrance of the call on His life to serve as our priest and the healer who would defeat death. Perhaps at Christmas, when we sing of the three kings, we need to remember that in their wisdom, their only response was to bring a gift of gratitude for the future. Perhaps there is someone Jesus is calling us to help. Perhaps this Christmas it is not just about us, but about each other. Maybe we can be a community that looks beyond the present power of the gift, but sees the gift that lifts us onward.
Recalibrate: What gift would you want to give to Jesus?
Respond: Pray for the privilege to serve this Christmas season.
Research: Read one of the recommend commentaries on any of the chapters from this week.
Live Wonder (ages 0–3)
The wise men had to go home a different way. When was the last time (maybe five minutes ago) when your day hasn’t gone as planned with your child? Maybe you envisioned a perfect day starting with Daily Walk and it was interrupted by spit up—or worse. Take today to remind yourself that even with its hiccups, you can enjoy the journey of the day. Ask your child what their perfect day would look like.
Live Adventure (ages 4–11)
Ask you child what their perfect day would look like from beginning to end. Talk about how the wise men had their day and travel plans all mapped out and they had to change and go a different way. In what ways can you still have a great day even if your plans have to change?
Live Purpose (ages 12–16)
After the wise men gave baby Jesus His gifts, they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod and tell him where Jesus was. They had to go the long way home. Have you ever felt like you had to take the long way in life? Was it a good experience? a bad one? Why?