Open His Word
Let it enlighten you
If you ask
Take it to others
Today at Madison Valley Presbyterian Church,
here in Ennis, Montana,
Pastor Mary Grace Reynold’s sermon
was inspired by the New Testament scripture
Matthew 2: 4-18
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[a]
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”[b]
If something unnerves you, pay attention!
The realm of unpleasantness is not what
we expect in Advent as we wait for the Messiah.
Killing all the boy babies? Worse than unnerving!
The season of Hope, Faith, Joy and Love
is not supposed to be unsettling.
Let’s weep with Rachel over the loss of children.
Let’s weep over the bleakest of backgrounds.
Life is frequently bleak, but take heart!
Into this bleakness a star appeared in the sky.
Into this bleakness the vulnerable baby was born.
Into this bleakness, a cruel king felt threatened.
Herod, the king sat in the stain of
his own shallow angst and envy.
He looked foolishly to the stars,
believing in his own deity.
Threatened by an innocent baby,
reported to be coming as a king,
Herod ordered the death of all boys
under the age of two in Bethlehem.
God heard the cries of “the least of these.”
Jesus remembered those cries when He
reminded us to care for “the least of these.”
And friends, we each are part of “the least of these.”
Jesus/God knows the hearts of the bleak.
He injects hope in the hearts of the hopeless.
He injects love, joy and peace
into our bleak world today.
Rejoice in the brightness of God’s love.
Rejoice that God claims us.
Do not be surprised by God’s compassion.
Bask in the warmth of His bright love.
May peace, love, hope and joy be yours
this Advent season – and into the new year.
May the brightness of Jesus/God be within you.
Share His bright light with others.
Light each candle
Remember what each symbolizes
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
See ya tomorrow (God willing)