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They asked, “Where is the baby who was born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”Matthew 2:2 (NCV)

There is, perhaps, no time in the mind of a child (of any age) more full of expectancy and anticipation than Christmas. The excitement and wonder of the lights; the brightly colored packages and the hopes that are within them all add to the anticipation.

Will I get that bicycle I’ve always wanted? Will the doll that talks be in this package? Will I finally get that video game I’ve been hinting about all year? I hope…oh, I hope it’s what I think it is. Will he give me the ring at Christmas? The princess thinks with a noticeable twinkle in her eye.

One year my nephew put socks on his Christmas list. Since he worked hard and worked outdoors often, we decided that would be a good, useful gift for him. So we bought him a couple packages and wrapped them with sincerity and love. Unfortunately, so did everyone else in the family. Yep, that’s right. EVERYONE. 25 packages of socks! Needless to say his anticipation was smashed and he never asked for socks at Christmas again!

The promise of a coming messiah was hundreds of years old by the time the star finally appeared in the sky. It had been so long that many had forgotten about it, thus it went unnoticed by the priests, the King and everyone else.

We aren’t told exactly where the Magi were, only that they were ‘east of Jerusalem’. What we do know is that their anticipation, their expectancy never waned, not for a moment. I wonder what it was like when the first of them noticed the star. Night after night of watching. For many an entire lifetime of watching! But then. Then the night came when someone said, “Look! There it is! In the western sky! He’s here! He’s been born!”

Did you get goose bumps? I’ll bet he did. Did the excitement almost overwhelm you? I imagine it did overwhelm him. Had there been cell phones back then he’d have awakened every one of his colleagues.

“The King has been born. We must hurry. Get the caravan ready. Load the Camels with gifts. Hurry. He’s been born!”

Jesus says we must be like children in our faith. May we be like children in our ‘expectancy’ as well. May this Christmas season rekindle the excitement we had as children, only let that excitement be due to the coming of the Christ-child.

The Magi are known for their gifts, but gifts wasn’t their main reason for coming, worship was. In the same way, as we look forward to the Christmas season; as we enjoy the company of family and friends we rarely see; as we enjoy the giving and receiving of gifts and sharing all those holiday goodies, may we remember to worship the King.

PRAYER: Father, I love Christmas. I love everything about Christmas, the lights, the food, the music, the gifts. But in the hustle and bustle of this holiday season please remind me to worship you for sending Jesus. Amen.

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