Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
The world has moved on from Christmas, but we are still wrapped up in wonder, joy and celebration of Jesus. I hope you are still savoring the astonishing words of the angel who announced the birth to the shepherds, who were still working hard in the dark of a cold night, ‘Do not be afraid, I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all people. Today, in the town of David a savior has been born to you; he is the messiah, the Lord.’
The world has rushed on to gawk at the New Year, promising us that if we plot resolutions and self-improvement plans we can change everything for ourselves and finally be happy. But the Spirit invites us to imagine a different kind of life, one that does not ask us to lose weight, get organized, work harder, save more money or do anything else to become acceptable in our own sight. The Spirit finds us in our dark nights and whispers that although Jesus was born long ago, he was born for us too, he is our messiah-savior-the-one-we’ve-been-waiting-for, he will be Lord of the lives we already have. There is peace, there is wholeness, there is freedom for us here and now, in him. The one who has changed everything does not require us to change before he loves and accepts us. In him, we find the abundant life the self-help-industrial-complex promises us.
This New Year’s Day we will continue to keep Christmas as we celebrate Epiphany, the story of the wise ones who followed a strange star that led them to Jesus and the revelation that the child born King of the Jews was also born the redeemer of all creation. From the very beginning, the circle of salvation was widening to include those who are strangers to us but known as beloved to God.
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