FROM THE PULPIT: Preparing for Christmas

Published: Friday, December 14, 2012 at 02:57 PM.

At some point, the star disappeared, but they continued their journey. Then they entered Israel’s borders and continued on to Jerusalem to see the king.

Herod the Great was ruler during Jesus' birth. The Magi expected to find the new "King of the Jews" in the palace’s fine splendor, but he was not there. Herod, half-Jewish and half-Edomite, asked the priests and scribes about the Messiah’s birth. Armed with new information about Jesus' birth, the Magi continued on to Bethlehem.

Here, they found the Christ child — who was no longer an infant — and they worshipped him.

The men bowed, acknowledged Christ as King, and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Gold — the finest of all medals; the only metal fit for a king — indicated the child’s divinity.

Frankincense is the gift for a priest. People used this sweet perfume when they made sacrifices during temple worship. Priests open the way for people to find God. Jesus made it possible for us to enter the very presence of God.

Myrrh — a gift for the dying — was used in spices in the burial cloth that Jesus was wrapped in. Jesus came into this world to die for our sins.

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