There is some debate over when the wise men actually visited Jesus. But we do know that they visited Jesus in a house, not the stable. We're also not sure exactly what the wise men were, except that they were educated and wise. We don't know where they came from, except that it was somewhere in the east. And we don't know how many there were - there are three of them in most nativity scenes because we know they brought three gifts - gold, frankincense and myrrh. The most important thing we know about the wise men is that they worshipped Jesus.
CHALLENGE: This Christmas make sure it's Jesus you're worshipping, not food, things, friends, good times etc.
You would expect the arrival of God's Son on earth to be a huge deal but when Jesus arrived the first people to be told were some shepherds who were looking after their sheep. In Bible times shepherds were considered to be outcasts, dishonest and unclean - yet God chose them to be the first to get the good news! All through Jesus' ministry he hung out with broken, messy people like tax collectors and prostitutes. The world says that some people are more important than others because they're rich, or beautiful, or famous, or successful, but that's not how it works in God's economy. God makes it clear that he loves everybody and we should too.
CHALLENGE: Find a way to love someone who is an outcast. Invite them to church, take them a food hamper from your church, say hello, smile at them...
Visiting, royalty, heads of state and celebrities stay in 5 star hotels or palaces when they are on tour. But when the son of the creator of the universe came to earth he slept in a stable in an animal food trough. Now I have visited a couple of farms and I can tell you that a food trough is not a particularly clean or hygienic place to put a baby. It just shows how much God loves humble, ordinary people. He comes into our sin-scarred lives and loves us in the middle of the mess. He doesn't expect you to tidy up your life and be a better person before you become a Christian, he asks to come in first and help you do life with him.
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.