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Journey to the Manger: Advent, December 23, 2013

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Advent means coming or arrival. The celebration of Advent by Christians is the anticipation of the coming of the Christ Child as well as his anticipated return as Christ the King.

Come here daily in December for your Journey to the Manger. Readings here will look at the symbols of advent and provide suggested readings and meditations.

On Day 23 consider the the Star of Bethlehem that led the wise men to the manger.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 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.”

~ Matthew 2:1-8

The star of Bethlehem was a star of hope that led the wise men to the fulfillment of their expectations, the success of their expedition. Nothing in this world is more fundamental for success in life than hope, and this star pointed to our only source for true hope: Jesus Christ.
~ D. James Kennedy, Christmas Stories for the Heart

The coming of the star was foretold in the Old Testament. Christ was of the lineage of Abraham through Jacob.

I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob;
a scepter will rise out of Israel.
He will crush the foreheads of Moab,
the skulls of all the people of Sheth.

~ Numbers 24:17

Oh, beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shining afar through shadows dim
Giving the light for those who long have gone
Guiding the wise men on their way
Unto the place where Jesus lay
Oh, beautiful star of Bethlehem, shine on

Oh, beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine upon us until the glory dawns
Give us the light to light the way
Unto the land of perfect day
Oh, beautiful star of Bethlehem, shine on

Oh, beautiful star, the hope of life
Guiding the pilgrims through the night
Over the mountains 'til the break of dawn
Into the light of perfect day
It will give out a lovely ray
Oh, beautiful star of Bethlehem, shine on

Oh beautiful star, the hope of rest
For the redeemed, the good and the blessed
Yonder in glory when the crown is won

Jesus is now that star divine
Brighter and brighter He will shine
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on

Oh, beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shine upon us until the glory dawns
Give us the light to light the way
Unto the land of perfect day
Oh, beautiful star of Bethlehem, shine on

~ Thomas Delonge

Suggestion: Make a star for the top of your Advent tree.

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