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Today’s heroes are the Magi because they shows us the gift of a Hope
Essential Teachers notes:
We don’t know if they were kings, but we often call them that, or if they were totally wise, I’m sure many thought them foolish to try such a mission, we don’t even know how many they were and if they were exclusively men. The story of the Magi is a fantastic story about how God calls people from outside the walls of our religion, how he uses sometimes unlikely sources of information, and how slim hopes and pipe-dreams can come about. It’s a story of perseverance, about acceptance, about seeking, and about holding onto hopes, if you really believe them to be true.
Main Passage : Matthew 2
Today’s heroes are the Magi, who were very wise.
Imagine spending your whole life hoping to find something amazing. Hope is a very powerful emotion, it stops people from giving up and encourages people to change dreams into reality… I wonder what you hope for? (If suitable pause for a moment here and discuss hope, or just ponder before continuing)
Today’s heroes spent their lives looking and hoping for something amazing, spectacular and awesome. The problem was that they didn’t know where to look.
They didn’t know abut God like we do, there were no Jews where they lived, and Christians didn’t exist yet. They lived a long long way away from the holy lands. But, they were intelligent men, they studied the world around them and found knowledge in God’s creation. Perhaps they mapped the land or traveled the sea, perhaps they learnt about the different tribes and cities around them. We do know they studies how the stars moved. They hoped that if they studied hard they would learn the secrets of the universe.
For years and years they found great things in God’s wonderful world, but they still they looked. Then one night as they looked up to the sky everything changed. There was a star so huge everybody stopped talking and just starred. How could the sky have a star so big and bright?
The next day all they could talk about was the star. Everybody agreed that the star must mean something. It must be a sign of something great. Everybody stayed up that night to see the star again, and when they did they realized the star had moved. Night after night the star moved, and day after day the Magi sat and talked about what it could mean. Eventually they decided that it must be a sign, pointing them towards a great event, the birth of a great king.
Perhaps they were wrong, but they hoped they were right. The more they thought about it the more they decided they should do something. If such an amazing king was to be born they should go see him, take him gifts, and kneel before him. They didn’t know how far the star would travel, and even if there would be a king at the end of the journey.
Still, they packed some bags and left. Their hope kept them going and the star guided them. Eventually they came to the land of the Jews, they tried to visit the palace but the star did not stop there. The advisers in the palace told them a prophecy, a great king would be born in a small town called Bethlehem. And that’s exactly where it did stop. Bethlehem didn’t seem very impressive, but the Magi started to ask people if any babies had been born.
The town was full of stories about a small boy who had been born, the babies first bed had been a feeding trough, and his first visitors a bunch of smelly shepherds with a crazy story about the sky filling with singing angels. It didn’t sound like the child was the normal kind of king, but he was definitely something amazing, special and spectacular.
When the Magi found the young Jesus they knelt down before him and gave him their gifts.
Precious gold, the gift of royalty.
Sweet smelling frankincense that was used in worship.
and Myrrh for keeping bad smells away.
Their hopes had been fulfilled and they worshiped Jesus.
Today’s heroes are the Magi because they show us the gift of a Hope