Following Stars

Tim BlodgettUncategorized0 Comments

On Epiphany of the Lord, we journey with the magi as they follow a star in the east to the young Jesus. This holy day concludes the twelve days of Christmas. It often falls during the week, so we celebrate it the Sunday after Christmas. It is a story we will encounter this Sunday on New Year’s Day. Their journey becomes a model for our journey of faith in the days after Christ’s birth. These magi were searching over hundreds of miles after a king, but discovered so much more. In my sermon for this Sunday, I will pose this question “What would motivate you to cross the desert like that? What would be that important to you?” I hope you take some time to ponder that question, especially as it relates to our lives of faith.
One of the primary challenges of our faith lives is continuing to grow in faith. Over time we have a tendency to feel stuck or feel that our faith has plateaued. “What am I getting out of this worship service? Bible study? Prayer group?” “Isn’t this the same thing we have done before?” “Where has my energy and enthusiasm gone?” When we are new to faith it seems that the sky is the limit. It is easy to grow in faith, love, connection, and more. Everything is new. This can slow over time, so much so, that some churches are finding that by the third, fourth, or fifth year of membership, people are increasingly looking elsewhere for a new church home to start the process again. For folks that have been a member of the church beyond that window, it can mean an even longer period of feeling that your faith lacks life.
The magi serve as a good example of an alternative path. You can imagine that these magi were not new believers. They had practiced their faith for, perhaps, all their lives. Maybe their faith was suffering from the repetitiveness of the everyday. And yet, they make an incredible journey to seek out something new. They cross a desert to find the new king that had been born. I like that as a model of faith.
Like the magi of the Epiphany story, we must seek out whatever our star in the east may be. It is also up to each of us, individually and as the church together, to cross the desert, to discover, to be curious, to seek situations to grow and be challenged. As we mature in faith it is essential that we become even more active in our faith. Converse. Teach. Volunteer. Lead. Endeavor to discover more about our faith and about Jesus Christ. Seek out challenges. Look for a geography to expand your faith.
My resolution in 2017 is encourage and challenge you all in this process. I want to challenge you to cross the desert or the globe or the boundary of the out limit of your faith at present. What will you seek this year? What star will you follow? What will be waiting for you at the end of your journey?

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