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Matthew 2

A New Vision

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Matthew 2:1-12



Mat 2:1  Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,


Mat 2:2  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.


Mat 2:3  When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.


Mat 2:4  And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.


Mat 2:5  And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,


Mat 2:6  And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.


Mat 2:7  Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.


Mat 2:8  And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.


Mat 2:9  When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.


Mat 2:10  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.


Mat 2:11  And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.


Mat 2:12  And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.


Matthew 2:1-12


when they saw the star…they rejoiced exceedingly..

we know the star they saw was jesus….amen?

sing his praise’s, o’magnify the lord!


god has told us in our thursday night teachings that we ARE TO DRAW NEARER TO HIM IN THIS COMING YEAR….




oklahoma is a land that  i love,  i’ve been a lot of places but oklahoma is for me….it’s a flat land, it’s so flat out there, you can look farther than you can see.” amen?


Let’s talk for a few moments today about “looking farther than you can see.”


In the early 1930s an engineer named Joseph Strauss looked out over San Francisco Bay. In his mind he formed a picture of a beautiful bridge connecting the two sides of the bay. In 1936 the Golden Gate Bridge became a reality. He looked farther than he could see.


Many of you will remember when President George Bush the elder, father of our current president, was criticized for not focusing on long term goals and strategies. The former president agreed that he wasn’t very big on what he called, “the vision thing.”


Now we are engaged in another presidential election year. As always, we hope we can elect a president who has this vision thing down pat. We need people who look farther than they can see. amen?


The world needs a new vision. Critics of the war in Iraq clamor for a vision of how to extricate ourselves honorably from this bloody conflict.


All of us look at the challenge of terrorism and long for a vision, a cure for this deadly scourge.

People of conscience look at our public healthcare system and cry for a new vision of how to care for the uninsured.


Scientists look at the troubling signs of rising global tempera-tures and hope for a new vision of how to stave off a potential crisis.

Many of us long for a vision that will again unite us as a people. The vision thing. is very important.


Many of us need a new vision for our personal lives. Some of us are bogged down in a sea of guilt and regret. Others of us feel something is missing from our lives. If only we could see something that we haven’t seen before.


Let me give you an example of what I mean by “vision.”

If I were to show you a pile of scrap cardboard, old car parts, used tires, and other cast-offs, what would be the first thought that would pop into your mind?


Trash heap? Junkyard? Eyesore? Yet there was an article in Time magazine a few years back about a professor at Auburn University who looked at those same items and saw new homes.


Professor Samuel Mockbee is the visionary behind an architecture firm that specializes in making lovely, functional, low-cost public buildings and homes for poor residents in Alabama.


Mockbee and his students make these lovely, functional buildings out of trash. Specifically, they turn scrap cardboard, old car parts, used tires, and other cast-offs into real homes.


Last year some of these students built a chapel and community center for the residents of Mason’s Bend, a tiny, rural town. The students used more than 100 discarded car windows to make one wall of the center.


Former students have made homes out of hay bales or old tires. Some of these homes, which are donated to local residents, are attractive enough to be featured in architectural magazines. These students learn to see value in refuse, and to turn that refuse into something beautiful and lasting.

Some people look at discarded car windows and see trash. Others see building materials. The difference is vision. What do you see?

How you look at your world and how you look at yourself will determine to a great extent what you will contribute to the world and how great you will feel about your life.


An African American pastor led a thriving church. Many of its members were actively serving the surrounding community. Asked the secret of his success, the pastor responded, “I hold a crown above my people’s heads, and watch them grow up into it.”


That’s the power of vision. amen? Nothing happens without vision. The world hungers for people with vision--for people who look farther than they can see.


In the year 7 B.C. the planets Jupiter and Saturn appeared very close together in the night sky, casting a bright glow similar to that of a single large star. The following year, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were also closely aligned. Some scholars believe one of these two events produced the bright light in the sky the wise men followed when they came to Bethlehem two thousand years ago. You know the story.


What fascinates me is this: hundreds of thousands of other people living in that part of the world saw the same bright light in the sky, but they did not leave their homes to go find the newborn king. What was different about these magi? Vision.


First of all, these magi were searching for something that was real--something that would transform their lives. God loves searchers.


That’s what we do when we enter a bible study or sunday school class…we laern about god and the visions he has for mankind.

if you are not here on thursday nights you should be…


even those of you on the internet, tune in on thursday nights and hear the teachings about a man named jesus who had a vision for our world and us….

This Sunday is called Epiphany (E-Pif-A –ny) on the church calendar, and it is a celebration of the coming of the magi.

In our secular language, an epiphany is a new way of seeing or understanding. It is so appropriate that we should begin a new year with an epiphany, a new way of seeing. amen?


after all we can surely beat last year..amen? a vision, an image of what our world can be, of what our lives can yet be. Like the magi of old, we need to open our minds, stretch our imaginations.


The statesman Konrad Adenauer once said, “We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.” Today is a day for expanding our horizons, to scan the skies, to become searchers.


Of course, there is always trouble for the dreamer

it’s been said, “Those who dance appear insane to those who cannot hear the music.” But this is where change begins with those who are searching.

Did you come searching this morning, or have you found all you need in your new i-Pod? Your work? Your family? A new hobby?


Are you so content with the things of this world that you no longer hunger for a fresh encounter with God? God loves searchers. The wise men, first of all, were searchers.

They were searchers who set out on a journey of faith. This is important.


There are many journeys people take. Some people journey into alternative life-styles, some journey into alcohol and drugs. The magi had a specific goal in mind for their journey. We find it in the very first verse of our message from god for today:


“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.’”


No wonder we call them wise. They were looking for the King of the Jews, the Messiah, so that they might worship him.

So many people are taking destructive journeys in our world today, following so many false stars.

A few years back our Air Force built a sophisticated unmanned jet called the Global Hawk. With no pilot aboard, this plane can fly for more than a day, scouring terrain and relaying video to a ground station 3000 miles away.


A few years back one of these planes was lost in a freak accident. No, it didn’t crash into a mountain. It didn’t run out of fuel or have one of its parts malfunction. Rather, it committed suicide.


It shut its engines down, erased classified material from its computer, set its flaps in a death spiral and smashed at 400 mph into the desert.

Here’s what happened. More than 100 miles away, a team of Air Force personnel were testing a second Global Hawk aircraft. At some time in this test, this team told this second plane to terminate its flight.


Unfortunately, the first plane “overheard” this signal from more than 100 miles away and thought it was being ordered to terminate its flight, and it did just that. A forty-five million dollar plane was lost because it listened to the wrong voice.


There are many journeys we can take in today’s world, many voices we can listen to, many stars that we can follow. But only one leads us into the path of abundant life.


I want to challenge you today to set out on a journey of faith in this new year. Get deep into our faith. Join our Bible study. Spend more time in prayer. Focus more intently in worship on God’s purpose for your life.


The wise men were searchers who were on a journey of faith. Their goal was to bow before the newborn king.

And when they found him they bowed down before him and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These were expensive gifts. Maybe this is why tradition calls them the three kings. Some have treated these gifts as symbolic--gold to represent his kingship, myrrh to represent his death on the cross, and incense, as homage to God. Perhaps--we do not know. Neither do we know what became of the gifts. Maybe Joseph sold them to finance their perilous journey to Egypt. The Bible doesn’t say. And, it doesn’t matter. These gifts represent, most of all, the magi’s devotion. They gave of themselves. Here is the key to life. Give of yourself. Give of yourself to God. Give of yourself to others.


There it is. E-pif-a-ny. Seeing life with new eyes. Vision. Seeing in the world new possibilities. That is what I wish for each of us this day.


The magi came searching. Their search took them on a journey of faith. When they found the newborn king they offered him gifts, gifts that represented the best that was in them.


This is the kind of vision we need as we begin this new year--a vision to build new lives and help change our world from a planet of hatred to a place of hope.

if you give away a smile, you’ll get back two……


can you see the vision?

Verse of the Day

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” -Romans 12:4-5 Listen to chapter Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

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