[Beyond Sunday] The Gifts We Bring

 “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.”

 

-Matthew 2:11

The three wisemen have only a brief appearance in Matthews gospel.  But those verses have spawned a myriad of traditions about who they were, why they brought their gifts and what the visitation means.  Behind all of it is a simple idea: the birth of Christ was a momentous event and this King is worthy of honor and due the gifts of our own hearts.  [hear sermon audio]

This week, take some time to go deeper.  Use these scriptures and questions to reflect on the meaning of Epiphany for your own life.

Texts to read:

  • 1 Corinthians 12
  • Romans 11:1-7
  • Numbers 24:15-19 (chapters 22-24)

Questions to ponder:

  • What gifts have been given to you?
  • Who in your community could be helped by your gifts?
  • What part does fear play in the gifts we give and the gifts we withhold?

Do and share:

 

[Beyond Sunday] Children’s Sunday

Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When he was 12 years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to their custom. After the festival was over, they were returning home, but the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t know it. Supposing that he was among their band of travelers, they journeyed on for a full day while looking for him among their family and friends. When they didn’t find Jesus, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple. He was sitting among the teachers, listening to them and putting questions to them. Everyone who heard him was amazed by his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were shocked.

His mother said, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Listen! Your father and I have been worried. We’ve been looking for you!”

Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?” But they didn’t understand what he said to them.

Jesus went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. His mother cherished every word in her heart. Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with people.

-Luke 2:41-52

We want our children to grow up as good faithful people.  But as they past from childhood to adolescence, faith can manifest in surprising ways.  [hear sermon audio]

This week, pray for the children and youth in your life.  Ask yourself if you are really prepared for them to be the people you’ve taught them to be. Read and reflect on these scriptures and questions.

Texts to read:

  • Deuteronomy 6:4-9
  • Proverbs 22:6

Questions to ponder:

  • What things do you think are most essential to teach to children?
  • Have you ever been surprised by how someone lived out their faith?
  • How did that experience help you grow?

Do and share:

  • Ask a child how they see God.  Pray about what you can learn from them.
  • Share a story of how you invested in the next generation on our Facebook (dpumctx) or Twitter (@dpumc)