Devotion for the Third Day of Christmas

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet:
‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
Are by no means least among the leaders of Judah;
For out of you shall come forth a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” ~ Matthew 2:1-8

Herod wanted to hold on to his own power, so he used deceit and subterfuge to try to get the magi to reveal Jesus’s location to him. He knew enough to find out the prophecies of where the Messiah would be born, but he was arrogant enough to think that he could change the outcome of God’s prophecy by his human power. How often we think we are in control of our lives and circumstances, when we can do nothing on our own.

Lord God, so often I want to be in charge and think I know what’s best for myself, if not for everyone. Yet, I can do nothing without You. I am totally dependent on Your grace. Open my eyes and ears to see my dependence on You, and open my heart to glory in Your loving plan. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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