About the Beer:
Third Space Brewery is one of the newer breweries making a name for itself in Milwaukee, WI. It was started with the concept that everyone needs a “third space” besides their home and work. Located in the Menomonee River Valley between the Historic Third Ward and Miller Park, Third Space is proud to be part of the economic rejuvenation of the area in recent years. Happy Place, the brewery’s flagship beer, is considered a Midwest Pale Ale. It has a bright hop aroma with flavors of citrus, stone fruit, berries, and passion fruit. A meticulously selected blend of malts allows the hop flavors to shine in this smooth drinking ale designed to take you to your own happy place!
Advent Reflection: Adapted from “The Advent Project“.
Matthew 2: 1-3, 7-11
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. . .Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
In the Scripture reading for today, we read of a journey–the journey of the wise men from the East who came to worship the young king of the Jews. There are many interesting elements in this short narrative, not least is the question of the specific identity of the Magi, nor an explanation for the star that helped them identify the Messiah’s birth. Matthew does not tell us much about either, but what he does highlight is the eagerness of the Magi to worship Jesus. This is contrasted with the hostility of Herod and all Jerusalem (2:3) at the scene of Christ’s birth. These Magi evidently had some exposure to Old Testament prophecies from Jewish colonies in the East. Although many Jews returned to Palestine after the Babylonian deportation, several Jews remained in the East. If the Magi came from Babylon, it would have been a journey of roughly 900 miles, which means they were likely traveling for several months (cf. Ezra 7:9).
The purpose of the Magi’s journey is fulfilled when they “bowed down and worshiped him” (2:11 NIV). Such a long journey from such unlikely Gentile visitors from the East is really an extraordinary way to announce the arrival of the Messiah and Savior of the world. I wonder what their journey was like? What anticipation filled their hearts? What was their experience of worship truly like?