Matthew 2:11, John 3:16
Have you ever been a new person at work? Or a new person that’s moved into the neighborhood? Or perhaps the new kid had school? Sometimes it can be difficult when you are that new person to feel welcomed. No one likes it when your coworkers are cold and ignoring you. It’s hard when your neighbors seem to have no interest in you at all. It’s hard when you’re on the playground and none of the other kids come up and talk to you. It hurts to be excluded.
How much better is it when at work your co-workers come up and they welcome you and they’re happy to have you on board? Or when your neighbors come over as you’re moving in to get to know you and to introduce themselves? Or to be out on the play yard at school and to have other kids come up and invite you to join their game?
It’s great to have that feeling of being included. We value inclusivity. And this is something that God values as well. This is in fact a main point of the season that we are currently in of the church year the season of epiphany. God welcomes people of different ethnicities, races, backgrounds, cultures to come and worship Christ. We see this especially in the account of the magi, of the wise men, who came and knelt before Jesus, worshipping him. Presenting their gifts before him.
As we hear in Matthew Chapter 2
After they went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)
Now, we don’t know much about these wise men, the Bible’s kind of silent about them, they’re men of mystery and of intrigue. What we do know is that they came from far away, they came from the east. They weren’t part of the Jewish people. And yet God had invited them. God, in fact, had led these individuals to come and find this little Jewish peasant boy who was also the Son of God, the Savior of the world, Jesus. And they followed God’s lead and they were led to this little child and they bowed down and worshipped him.
Jesus has come into the world to bring salvation to people of all ethnicities, of all races, of all cultures, of all backgrounds. Jesus has come to be the Savior of the world. God is inclusive. He wants people from all over to come and join those wise men as they kneel before the Savior and as they present their hearts in worship to him. And that’s a comforting thing also for you and for me. We who are from among the nations most likely, we who should be excluded and especially so because of our own sinfulness. God invites us to come and kneel beside those wise men worshipping the King of kings, the Savior of the world. As John writes
God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
God is a God who desires to include us. To include you as part of his plan of salvation. That’s good news and that’s good news that we also have the privilege to share as we go out into our communities, as we go out to people of other races and ethnicities, backgrounds and cultures, we can share with them also this invitation from God to join us. To join those wise men worshipping our Savior. The Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. God’s blessings to you.