Opening Prayer. Emmanuel, give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to be opened to all that you have for us this Christmas Day. In Jesus’ beautiful name – Amen.
Scripture. (All from the CJB)
Here is how God showed his love among us: God sent his only Son into the world, so that through him we might have life.
– 1 John 4:9
“After this, I will pour out my Spirit on all humanity. your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions; and also on male and female slaves in those days I will pour out my Spirit. I will show wonders in the sky and on the earth- blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and terrible Day of Adonai.”
– Joel 3:1-4
However, from there you will seek Adonai your God; and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and being.
– Deuteronomy 4:29
Your word is a lamp for my foot and light on my path.
– Psalm 119:105
With your ears you will hear a word behind you: This is the way; stay on it, whether you go to the right or the left.”
– Isaiah 30:21
RED. WISE. MAN. From Laura VanderTop.
I love the color RED. I have a red couch, 3 red chairs, a red bedspread, red throw pillows, red bath towels, and red accents in my home decór. I even had my kitchen walls painted red in my first home (That was a little much!).
Red reminds me of earth, dirt, humanity, the blood that runs through our bodies, and sacrificial love. Red grounds me and connects me to the present and to my physical being. Red is rugged, sweaty, hard-working. Red is power and powerful (in a good way). I recently saw the movie ‘Secretariat,’ and I loved that the owner and handler’s name for the horse was ‘Red’. That horse was a perfect picture of so much that RED means to me.
I also love the word WISE. I would consider it a great honor to be known as wise. One of my favorite Bible memories growing up was hearing about Solomon’s wisdom. I admire the wise ones; I always have.
Wikipedia notes that “wisdom is the ability to act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. Wisdom is associated with attributes such as compassion, experiential self-knowledge, and non-attachment, and virtues such as ethics and benevolence.” (Look up Wisdom on Wikipedia)
Wise is spiritual, mystical, compassionate, good. It takes me to far away places and allows for growth, learning, input, expansion, creativity, healing, abundance, and peace. Wise is fostered in community with other wisdom-seeking spiritual souls. I would love to be crowned with wisdom. That is why I’m letting my natural hair color (gray) grow in. I’m hoping it means that I will be sage-like and wise. Ha!
I think it must have taken rugged determination along with plenty of wisdom and allure for the wise men to set out on their journey together. Relying on the mystery of a light leading the way in order to find a noble baby (a toddler at most!) that was King of the Jews; and the joy that they had indeed found him! Once they arrive at the house, they worship him and prophetically bestow gifts declaring this One to be King, Priest, and Prophet. Heeding the wisdom and mystery of the Almighty, they journey a different path home in order to protect the Gift which love and wisdom had entrusted to them, to all of the world.
Closing Prayer. As your light and love lead us to you, Jesus, let us honor you by seeing your creation and your crown on humanity with great value and humility. May your wisdom lead us on paths with rugged determination and great mystery as we love one another in the way that you have loved us. Thank you for the greatest gift, Emmanuel, God with us. Amen and Amen.