Lectionary reading for 1/6/2022: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12
Selected passage for reflection: Matthew 2:1-12
Matthew 2:1-12 (NIV)
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 when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “ ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
In this passage of scripture, the Magi are ordered by King Herod to find the Christ child. They followed the star to Bethlehem where the baby Jesus was found. Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, the descendant of David and Abraham. The prophets told of his birth centuries before it ever happened, so can you imagine how excited the wise men were to finally meet the Savior? The scripture tells us they were overjoyed! The prophecy had been fulfilled.
Christ was born, the wise men arrived and gave their gifts and now what? They have waited their whole lives for this moment so now what? King Herod told them to report back to him, but verse 12 tells us that God warned them not to, so now what?
Have you ever been at a point in your Christian walk where you’ve been praying about something and your prayers have been answered? Now what? Things are great or maybe they aren’t. Maybe the very thing you’ve been longing after, you’ve received but you don’t know what to do next. Now what? Possibly you are just at a crossroads and waiting to hear God’s voice. You’re ready to move but don’t know which way to turn- now what?
Remain faithful. Continue cultivating your relationship with the Divine. It may not be the season for the next big project. After creating the universe, even God rested. It could be your season for rest. It is often during these respite periods of life that God is calling us closer to Him. There are no more distractions getting in the way of your devotional time or prayer life. The only way that we know for sure what God has for us is to keep that line of communication open. So if you find yourself wondering, “Now what?”, turn to your spiritual practices and commune with the Holy Spirit. He will meet you in these times and make everything clear.
If you have not already, set aside regular time for communing with the Holy Spirit. Some spiritual practices you may try are journaling, lectio divina, doing a daily examen, or seeing a spiritual director.
O Holy One! Thank you God for ordering my steps. Forgive me for getting ahead of Your plans. God I know that You are not the author of confusion so please help me to know when to stop and listen for your direction. Help me to know that waiting is not wasted time. Your ways are perfect Lord. May trusting You be my strength. Thank you for offering gentle grace. Amen
About the Author
Jillian Evans resides in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and three children. She is passionate about ministering to children, youth and their families. Jillian holds degrees from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and North Park Theological Seminary as well as a certificate in Spiritual Direction from C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction at NPTS.