Prophetic Gifts and Grateful Hearts [justin]

I’m pinch hitting for today’s post. Last night I wrote out about a thousand words on why I dislike the Church sign this time of year that reads Wise Men Still Seek Him. Do You?, and outlined all the good reasons to change it to Pagan Sorcerers Still Seek Him. Do You? It could be a decent midrash at some point on wisdom, foolishness, wanting to be cool, and interpreting the text to our own liking. But at current version, it was just a rant. So instead, I’d like to use the gifts of the Magi as devotional points of prayer for us during this season of Christmas and Epiphany.

Jesus, we remember Your kingship, that you are not only savior, but also our Lord. You rule with justice and righteousness, you show mercy which triumphs over condemnation. We believe that your kingdom has come near. We wait in hope for your rule to be manifested completely upon your return where all things will be made new and all things will bow under willful submission to you, our Majesty. We ask for your forgiveness  for the treason we have committed against you by enthroning vanity in your place. Teach us to serve you joyfully and in high regard. We also remember you as deity, that you, from the outset, were fully divine, indeed Emmanuel, the Word made flesh that was with God and who is God. Glory to God in the highest.

Jesus, we remember your priesthood and how you ascended into the holy of holies. We thank you that you offer the sweet aroma of your prayers always for us, advocating at the Father’s right hand so that our faith may not fail. We remember that you were  fully human, that you know and can sympathize with us in our weeknesses for you experienced the same temptations that we do. Yet you are perfect man and without sin, the one who conquers, who offers a sacrifice, which is yourself, once and for all. You are the one mediator between God and humanity, you are the man Jesus Christ. Forgive us Lord, for the deception in our hearts that would seek to crucify you over and over again, that would say you don’t really know what we are going through in this fallen world. Illuminate our eyes to the glory of your humanity, to the richness of your love in becoming like that which you came to save. Thank you for your light and truth, your Spirit that lead us.

Jesus, we remember that you were born to die, that in your infancy you were given not only precious metal and costly perfume, but also that which was used as an embalming agent. We thank you for your love of the Father’s plan of redemption, for choosing His will, for loving His creation and your friends past the point of death. Your life is marked by healing that came with power through both your touch and your teaching. You were not afraid of us, and because of that you loved us purely, loved even your enemies. You looked us in the eyes, experienced our depravity, and became sin, became a curse for us so that we might become the righteousness of God. By your wounds we are healed. We remember that you didn’t take the gall, the wine mixed with myrrh. You didn’t disconnect from the weight of the cross. You chose to remain sensitive in it all. Forgive us for evacuating the places you have put us, for not trusting in the power of your resurrection.  Teach us your way, O LORD and we will walk in Your truth; unite our hearts to fear your name. We worship you, for God has highly exalted you and bestowed on you the name that is above every name and we declare that your name is mighty.

Dove by Aaron Strumpel
Song audio available at Bandcamp

You’re a dove that’s been sleeping in the dirt
With a heart for the poor
And a hand for the hurt
And you cry for all your friends
Cause you’re the only one who
Still feels

I want to know a person like you
Who’s not afraid to love the wicked and the poor
I want to know a person like you
Who’s not afraid to touch crooked and the whore

Love the sick // and divorced
Touch the user // and the falling apart

You’re a lamb wearing thorns for a crown
While your words of peace
Are bigger than sound
And you hurt for all your friends
Cause you’re the only one who
Still feels

You’re a king born in straw from the field
With a star up above
And a cross for your love
And you came for all your friends
Cause you’re the only the one who
Still feels

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