February 9, 2020
We’re in week three of Matthew, covering the visit of the Magi.
The Gospel According to Matthew is one of the earliest biographies of Jesus, presenting Jesus not as a mere historical figure, but as “good news” for the world that should reshape every part of life. Here’s how you can prepare for this Sunday:
1. Read our text, Matthew 2:1–12.
The story of the wise men from the East is familiar to many, but it’s possible that our understanding of the story is based more on nativity scenes and Christmas plays than on the actual story that Matthew tells. For one thing, there is no mention of the number of wise men that have come. Nor is it likely that Jesus and Mary were still in the manger in Bethlehem. In fact it’s likely that Jesus had been born for at least one month when the wise men arrived, and that Mary and Joseph had found some place to make their home in Bethlehem. Nevertheless, the story is remarkable, and its significance is profound. The wise men were likely eastern astrologers who had studied the skies and believed that the unusual things they were noticing above corresponded to something remarkable happening on earth. The foreign Magi show the appropriate response to the newborn King, while the people of Jerusalem are troubled by this potential threat to their own systems of power. The story highlights that the reign of Jesus will spread far beyond Israel and that worshippers of Jesus will not always be who you might expect.
2. Read, pray, and sing through the service:
CALL TO WORSHIP: Psalm 4:6–8, Greeting:
To those whose days feel bright and cloudless, to those who feel like darkness is their only friend, to those who walked in this morning with exceeding joy, and those who walked in with unbearable grief, may you all hear the kind voice of Jesus crying out to you today:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Joy (Pat Barrett, Tony Brown arr. VaShawn Mitchell) / Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee (Ludwig van Beethoven, Edward Hodges, and Henry Van Dyke)
God With Us (Jason Ingram, Leslie Jordan)
CONFESSION OF SIN: From The Worship Sourcebook:
O God, our guide,
who once used a star to lead people to Christ,
we confess our poor sense of direction.
We let ourselves become confused, we are easily distracted,
and so we lose our way.
We fail to follow the signs You provide.
Forgive our waywardness, O God.
Lead us to the Christ so that we may follow His way to You. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF PARDON: John 1:9, 12
King of Kings (Jason Ingram, Brooke Ligertwood, Scott Ligertwood)
GREETING, SERMON, RESPONSE & COMMUNION
Jesus We Love You (Kalley Heiligenthal, Hannah McClure, Paul McClure)
Come Behold The Wondrous Mystery (Michael Bleecker, Matt Boswell, Matt Papa) / Venid Fieles Todos (John Francis Wade, Juan Bautista Cabrera Ivars)