Jesus, the Coming Messiah- Star of Jacob (Numbers 24, Matthew 2)

Jesus, The Coming Messiah
Jesus, The Coming Messiah: Advent Readings from Old Testament to New
December 4: The Messiah as Star of Jacob
Readings: Numbers 24:15-19; Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10 

Numbers 24:17, The Voice
Balaam: I see him, but at a later time,
I’ll recognize him, even though he is far away.
A star will come out of Jacob,
A scepter shall rise out of Israel.

Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10, The Voice
Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem, in the province of Judea, at the time when King Herod reigned. Not long after Jesus was born, magi, wise men or seers from the East, made their way from the East to Jerusalem. These wise men made inquiries.

Wise Men: Where is this newborn, who is the King of the Jews? When we were far away in the East we saw His star, and we have followed its glisten and gleam all this way to worship Him.

The wise men left Herod’s chambers and went on their way. The star they had first seen in the East reappeared—a miracle that, of course, overjoyed and enraptured the wise men. The star led them to the house where Jesus lay.

Clearly did Balaam reveal to us
The meaning of the words which were prophesied,
Saying that a Star would rise up,
A Star which would dim all prophecies and divination,
A Star to destroy the parables of the wise,
Their teachings and their enigmas,
A Star much brighter than this star which just appeared,
For He is the Maker of Stars
About whom it was written: ‘From Jacob shall rise up
A newborn babe, the God before time.’
– Romanos

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light
– John H. Hopkins, Jr.

Prayer
Hallelujah to Jesus!
The Bright Morning Star
Rising in the nightfall of our creation

Hallelujah to Jesus!
The Divine Light shining in the darkness
No evil overcomes you

Hallelujah to Jesus!
Your brilliance radiates near and far
Drawing us into your presence

There we find
hope
healing
meaning
truth
life

There we find you
Everything we long for
Everything we strive for
Everything we need

Thank you for showing us the way

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Thank you for setting aside times this Holy Season to seek the One we celebrate.

Jesus, The Coming Messiah is an Advent Bible Reading Plan highlighting the Old Testament prophesies and passages which Christians see fulfilled in Jesus.

As you read each passage, consider how this description of Jesus the Messiah reveals his character, motivation, and purpose. How does this description inspire you to trust Jesus and his promises? How will you apply and share what you have discovered? I look forward to your comments.

If you’re in Sarasota, please drop by Trinity United Methodist Church for one of our seasonal events or services or just to say, “Hi.” You’re always welcome and wanted.

Happy Advent and Merry Christmas! – Lisa <><

The Messiah as Star of Jacob © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in devotional settings with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information/permission to publish this work in any form.

Sermon Recording: Come and See What God Has Done, an Epiphany Sermon on Trust (Matthew 2)

matthew 2 epiphany star magi homageMessage: Come and See What God Has Done, an Epiphany Sermon on Trust
Scripture: Matthew 2
Offered 1/3/16, the Sunday before Epiphany, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

This message was preceded by the wonderful song Noel by Chris Tomlin.

I will not let worry overrule today or this Christmas. When the King rules my world, I cease to rule or to worry. All worry dethrones God. All worrying makes me King and God incompetent. I am going to trust that in the little places, through unexpected people, His perfect story is unfolding and unwrapping all around me and in me, the light overtaking the dark.
Ann Voskamp, from her Advent resource Sticky Notes for the Soul, Day 17

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace. —Luke 1:78-79

Pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. —2 Peter 1:19

The closing prayer was adapted from a prayer entitled Lead Me by Steve Garnaas Holmes.

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I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Worship Resource: Let in the Light (Matthew 2:1-12)

star light2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas
Day 24 Reading: Matthew 2:1-12
The Star

We have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him
– Matthew 2:2

Worship Resource: Let in the Light
John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him,
and without him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.

One: Let in the Light

Luke 1:78-79
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.

One: Let in the Light

John 12:46
Jesus said, “I have come as light into the world,
so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness.”

One: Let in the Light

John 8:12
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”

One: Let in the Light

Psalm 84:11-12
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts, blessed is everyone who trusts in you.

One: Let in the Light

Silent reflection and/or words of invitation

Closing: The following prayer by Dimitri of Rostov or the song I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (United Methodist Hymnal #206)

Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life, and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins,
kindling my heart with the flame of your love.
Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there,
for you alone are my King and my Lord.
Amen.

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Be sure to check out a wonderful prayer based on this passage by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled The Star.

This post is part of the 2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas. Click here for more information, including a list of all the readings.

Compilation: Let in the Light © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Christmas 12b: The Star

Christmas Star by Mark Jennings

Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10 (NRSV)
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”

When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.

Luke 1:78-79 (NRSV)
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Along my life’s journey, I discovered a Star that does last forever
and his name is Jesus. – T.D. Jakes

To find the child
one must see the star.
To see the star one must go into the darkness,
the pain, the fear, the emptiness,
the hidden weeping,
the heart’s dark wounds.
Only in the darkness
can the be stars seen.
– Steve Garnaas Holmes, To Find the Child

Clearly did Balaam reveal to us
The meaning of the words which were prophesied,
Saying that a Star would rise up,
A Star which would dim all prophecies and divination,
A Star to destroy the parables of the wise,
Their teachings and their enigmas,
A Star much brighter than this star which just appeared,
For He is the Maker of Stars
About whom it was written: ‘From Jacob shall rise up
A newborn babe, the God before time.’
– Romanos

Numbers 24:15-17a (NRSV)
So he uttered his oracle, saying: “The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is clear, the oracle of one who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down, but with his eyes uncovered: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near— a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel…

O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light
– John H. Hopkins, Jr.

When we realize that we do not have to be clever, powerful or successful in order to be loved, then we can live in truth, come to the light and be led by the Spirit of God.
Jean Vanier, Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John

Moonless darkness stands between.
Past, O past, no more be seen!
But the Bethlehem star may lead me
To the sight of Him who freed me
From the self that I have been.
Make me pure, Lord: thou art holy;
Make me meek, Lord: thou wert lowly;
Now beginning, and always:
Now begin, on Christmas Day.
– Gerard Manley Hopkins

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed.
The guilty one is not he who commits the sin,
but the one who causes the darkness.
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Every example of goodwill proclaims Christ’s coming. Every genuine outbreak of “Christmas Spirit” speaks God’s blessing. Every gracious act of love, gesture of peace, and inkling of hope proclaims the witness of the shepherds. Each resounding experience of joy cries out with passion the reality of God’s creative and redeeming love. What a dark world this would be without Christ. What an empty festival of winter would remain if God had not so loved this world.
– Derek Maul, In My Heart I Carry a Star

John 1:1-5 (NRSV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Lord from the beginning of time, light made the difference.
Let your light shine upon us, Lord.
You introduced light by your command and dispelled darkness.
Dispel our darkness, Lord.
Your light is a gift to the world and an answer to our prayer.
May we receive your gift, O Lord.
We come in our darkness, and prefer to remain hidden.
Shine your light upon us, Lord.
Remove our stubborn wills and penetrate our darkness.
Come into our lives with light, Lord.
Let our lives be gifts to you and brightness to others.
Make us shine with your light, Lord.
Fill this place with light eternal.
We will shine for you, Lord. Amen.
– T. Anne Daniel, The Africana Worship Book: Year C

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For a worship resource on the theme of God’s Marvelous Light, click here

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