2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written:
6 ‘“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”[b]’
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.’
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
As with gladness men of old Did the guiding star behold, As with joy they hailed its light, Leading onward, beaming bright; So, most gracious Lord, may we Evermore be led to Thee.
As with joyful steps they sped To that lowly manger bed, There to bend the knee before Him whom heav’n and earth adore; So may we, with willing feet, Ever seek Thy mercy seat.
As they offered gifts most rare At that manger rude and bare; So may we with holy joy, Pure and free from sin’s alloy, All our costliest treasures bring, Christ, to Thee, our heav’nly King.
Holy Jesus, every day Keep us in the narrow way; And, when earthly things are past, Bring our ransomed souls at last Where they need no star to guide, Where no clouds Thy glory hide.
Last night I was out Carolling with my local Salvation Army Band & Songsters. It was when we were asked to sing the above carol that I made the connection with ‘The Mercy Seat’(for those of you who do not know about The Salvation Army it has what is basically a piece of wood which acts as a place of prayer).
I also began to realise as I got into the next two verses that I suppose you could call this a prayer at Christmas time or anytime really.
Note: I aim to bring you Christmas blog on 25th December! Merry Christmas