Strangers on the doorstep

There’s a knock at the door. You reluctantly mute the TV, remove yourself from the sofa’s embrace and get up to open it. Standing on your doorstep is a group of strangers, people you’ve never seen before. They tell you that they’ve just travelled half way around the world to see you. How do you respond?

You might expect a scene like that if you were a famous pop singer, movie star, Olympic gold medallist or royalty. People would have have read your name or know a little about you. You might have some fans who would make the trip. But really, a bunch of people who don’t know you, coming from who-knows-where, just to see you – that’s a bit odd isn’t it?

Let’s go back 2000 years to Bethlehem. Jesus was born into an ordinary family and his birth probably went unnoticed by most. It wasn’t broadcast on the TV or discussed on blogs far and wide. Yet, one day there was a knock at the door. When it was opened, standing on the doorstep, was a bunch of strangers who’d travelled a great distance to see Jesus.

Who were the strangers? They were magi, wise men, who lived somewhere in the east. Traditionally, we talk about three of them. Truthfully, the Bible doesn’t tell us how many there were. It does tell us that they brought three gifts with them. Three gifts that help us to understand why they would go to such lengths to be there.

On the surface Jesus would have looked like any other child, but the Bible tells us he was someone totally unique. The wise men came looking for a king. They had brought a gift of gold to give him. When they saw Jesus, they knew they had found him.

The wise men also brought a gift of frankincense. This was a perfume that was used in the Old Testament in the worship of God. When they found the baby Jesus, they bowed to him in worship and gave him the gift. What’s the message? Jesus was human like you and I, but also God.

The third gift was a strange one. Later in life, Jesus would die on a cross for sin. When they buried his body, they wrapped it in cloths with a large quantity of myrrh. That was the practice of the day. The wise men brought with them a gift of myrrh. Even so early in his life there is clear pointer to what will happen and its significance.

Jesus is more than a baby in a manger. We want to invite you to discover more of him over this Christmas time. Everyone is welcome. For more information please visit our events page.