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Thursday - January 6th

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

Read Matthew 2:1-12 (ESV)

The last time we talked, we discussed the signs in our lives. Often we overlook the familiar, don’t we? Our spiritual vision grows far too accustomed to the “signs,” and they recede to the background—much like our brains skim over articles and rote words.

The heavenly messengers directed the shepherds to look for a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. These seasoned men had held their own swaddled babies, and perhaps, they carried swaddled lambs in from the pastures.

The messengers sent the shepherds to look for something they would recognize.

In our passage today, Mary and Joseph have moved baby Jesus to a house, most likely to accommodate Mary’s healing and to learn to care for a newborn (Can you imagine traveling on the back of a donkey after birthing a baby?)

And all while, a caravan of wise men—astronomers following a new star—are moving toward Jerusalem. Unaware that this pilgrimage would be called Epiphany in millennia to come, the travelers didn’t entertain any grandiose ideas about their role in this narrative. They didn’t know that their search for the newborn king would be a significant element in the events of Jesus’ birth. They just followed the sign given to them—a recognized sign.

They understood stars like the shepherds understood swaddling cloths and stables.

So today, consider these questions and thoughts.

  • What recognizable sign of God’s presence and voice are you not hearing or seeing because of familiarity?

  • What sign are you dismissing because it just seems too common? Too ordinary?

  • What sign is God asking you to follow even though you may not know the exact end destination?

  • The shepherds and wise men followed and arrived at the same place, the same destination—Jesus. That’s the test. That’s how we know the sign is legitimate and sound; it leads us to Jesus. To the good good Father.

  • So, follow your sign, leave the pasture, and get off your camel.

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