Daily Worship

A Baby Box with a Twist

January 06, 2022 2
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Image credit: Unsplash

Matthew 2: 1-11 (NRSVA)

1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6 “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who is to shepherd my people Israel.”’

7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Three spiritual searchers offer gifts for this unique “baby box”. Each gift offers insight into the hearts of the authentic spiritual seekers of our own time.

Today's searcher will offer up her gold — for at heart there is a strong desire for a simplicity of life and a generosity of spirit. The consumer society no longer satisfies. We are being called to a much more radical change of lifestyle by this Child in the Manger.

Today's searcher will bring her frankincense — for there is a deep desire to learn how to pray and connect with God, not in the words and customs of the past, but a search for depth and connectedness. In this child lies the one who brings the mystery of God among us and the one who heals the disconnect through forgiveness.

Today's searcher will present her myrrh — but may not know what to do with it because it speaks of sacrifice and commitment. In the channel-hopping age of non-commitment, the gift of myrrh will come as the deepest challenge to today's searcher. The child in the manger invites us to rediscover the meaning of covenanted relationships — earthed, committed, costly and inconvenient. "Stable" relationships, if you don’t mind the pun!

 

PRAYER:

 

Deeper, Lord, deeper

Beneath the waves of swirling thought

And anxious activity,

Lead us, Holy Spirit, to the place

Of silent adoration

Before our God of endless Love.

    Hold silence…

 

Wider, Lord, wider

Beyond the borders of self-interest

And the acts of cautious kindness

Lead us, Holy Spirit, to the place

Of open-hearted generosity

Before our God of endless grace.

    Hold silence…

 

Deeper and wider, Lord, deeper and wider

Till our lives reflect the image

Of the God we worship

Changed by the Spirit from glory to glory

Into the image of Jesus Christ,

our Lord and our Brother.

    Hold silence…