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The Wise Men Cry Glory

Christ is worthy of the long journey to find him and worship him.

From the editor:

Here's a great sermon from one of our featured preachers—Mark Buchanan—that explores the story of the Magi and Herod through the lens of spiritual hunger. To listen along as you read, click here.

Story Behind the Sermon (from Mark Buchanan)

I've been in the preaching business for 20 years, so I have a love/hate relationship with the big immovable boulders in the Christian calendar - Advent and Easter. How to say something new without saying anything novel? How to approach the ancient, well-loved, much used texts with both reverence and freshness?

This sermon came out of a series called "Everything Cries Glory." Rereading the Nativity story, I was moved by the revelation of God's glory amid the ignominy of weary parents, smelly stables, grubby shepherds, murderous kings. I wanted to behold with wonder and to proclaim with gladness that glory.

In exegeting the story of the Magi, two things in particular struck me as a revelation of God's glory. First, I was struck by the way God both uses and subverts the Wise Men's paganism to draw them to himself. God's innovativeness in planting within decidedly non-biblical worldviews a series of clues that lead to the feet of Christ is very good news in our current cultural moment with its resurgent paganism. The second thing that struck me - but this theme I saved for Christmas Eve in the same series - is that the Wise Men do not follow the star - the star follows the Christ. The heavens declare the glory of God.

I decided to build this sermon around a remark King Herod makes to the Wise Men: "Go and make a careful search for the child." Pagans, on a hunch, using astrology, have travelled hundred of miles to do just that, while religious leaders, with the advantage ...

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Mark Buchanan is an Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at the Ambrose Seminary in Calgary, Alberta, and the author of numerous books including Your Church is too Safe.

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Sermon Outline:


People who meet Christ generally fall into two categories: those whom Christ just surprises one day, and those who start a journey that may take years to finish.

I. The wise men eagerly searched for Christ.

II. God will do everything he can to help us find him.

III. The people least in possession of the truth were most passionately in pursuit of it.

IV. God's people failed to act on the truth they possessed.

V. Herod knew he couldn't share the throne with Christ.


Go and make a careful search for the Christ child, and when you find him, worship him and tell others, that they might worship as well.