Today’s devotion is about the Gospel of the day and is from Gathered in His Name.
Read the propers for today in Lutheran Service Builder.
We have reached that “blah” time of year. The anticipation and excitement of Christmas is over. Decorations are gone, gifts are either exchanged, broken, or used up. We have returned to what we call normal. To add to the blahs, it’s dark when we get up and dark when we return home. In many parts of the country, winter’s cold has established itself in earnest. Bright days, warm temperatures, and the first signs of spring are a long way off.
But like a bright point of light comes the story of the Wise Men seeking the newborn King of the Jews. Part of what makes this story so remarkable is the status of these men. From all that can be deduced from the term “Magi,” they were each a combination of highly educated scientist and theologian. On the one hand they studied the stars and their movements in great detail; on the other they studied ancient writings of great religions, perhaps to deduce what lay in the future. They were evidently men of some wealth to be able to finance a trip of this magnitude.
Another remarkable part of the story is the star. That star has been the center of so many works of art, songs, stories, and even theological and scientific studies that its wonder may be lost on us. Perhaps this star, in the style that God occasionally uses, was a star that only these trained astronomers would notice. To them it was a magnificent discovery; the average person probably wasn’t even aware of it.
This star was seen and tracked by the Wise Men because it spoke their language. God is the master of fitting the language of His Word to those who need to hear it. To the Magi—a star, to shepherds—angels, to you and me—a newborn Child. The message remains the same for all of us—God’s tremendous love for human beings. Be it a star, an angel, or a Child, God wants us to know how much He loves us.
Perhaps God’s purpose in coming to us in the dark and cold of winter is to shine through our “blahs” and inspire us to move forward. We have more than a star and an obscure prophecy to guide us. We have the accomplished work of Jesus Christ to inspire us and His timeless words to guide us. As the burdens of a new year weigh upon us and the road ahead looks dark and foreboding, God comes to us with the light of the eternal Star and the always-present Word to guide us.
So in the language of this story of the Wise Men, “Let’s mount up and move out! The star is out in front and the new King awaits.”
Devotional reading is from Gathered in His Name, pages 54–55 © 2000 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Video is of “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright” from Epiphany Mosaics © 2016 Concordia Publishing House.