Read: Matthew 12:1-12
The “12 Days of Christmas” have passed. Now it’s time for us to “look & follow.”
If you were with us at The Parish this past Sunday, you understand exactly what that means. On Sunday, we remembered the Tabernacle, and how every day the Israelites would look for the cloud of God’s presence and follow wherever it led. In the same way, we celebrated the miracle of Christmas; that God’s presence “became flesh and tabernacled among us.” (John 1:14) And we reflected on what it might look like if we, as a church community, began the new year by looking for and following the presence of God in our lives.
That’s our simple task. Look & follow. Look & follow. Every day, we must look & follow.
According to the ancient practice of the Church calendar, today is the Feast of the Epiphany, an important marker moment in our year. The feast of Christmas is done, and now we turn our attention to the moments in which God revealed the miracle of His son to the world. Where God surprised the planet with an “Epihpany” it never expected, that God himself was coming as King in the person of Jesus Christ.
In the coming weeks, we’ll talk about Jesus’ baptism and some of his incredible miracles. But today, we focus on the journey of three very special men. Whether you grew up calling them “Wise Men,” “Magi,” or even “Kings,” these three visitors are probably familiar to you. But these men are far from ordinary, and they are a powerful reminder for us today.
Just like the Israelites woke every morning to look for God’s presence in the tabernacle, these three wise men scoured the sky every evening anticipating a miracle. Just like the Israelites followed a cloud, the three wise men patiently followed that miraculous star. Not knowing what they would find when they arrived, they packed for the journey and set out in faithful obedience. In the end, they risked their own lives to honor the Christ-child with their precious gifts.
Today is another reminder for us to begin this year with two simple actions: look & follow. Instead of making resolutions, or filling our calendars with appointments, let’s stop for a moment and look for where God is at work. Where is the bright light of God’s presence challenging us, changing us, nudging us gently or pressing hard against the grain of our lives? Let’s ask the question, “God, where are you at work?” and be bold enough to listen for an answer. Then, as we remember the wise men today, let’s ask God to help us follow his presence with the same patience and faith.
I don’t know what your day, week, or year will hold; but I can guarantee that you won’t regret making the space to look & follow. Take a few moments today, read the story of the wise men, and simply ask God, “Where are you at work, and how can I follow?”
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.