Pause

This child of light whose birthday we just celebrated, who Isaiah dreamed was coming, who the Wise Men traveled so far to see, took on the darkness so we could see the light.

If we look carefully we can make out the flicker of God’s hope even when everything seems to be falling apart.

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Listen

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him.”

When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and everyone in Jerusalem was troubled with him. He gathered all the chief priests and the legal experts and asked them where the Christ was to be born. They said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote:

You, Bethlehem, land of Judah, by no means are you least among the rulers of Judah, because from you will come one who governs, who will shepherd my people Israel.”

Then Herod secretly called for the magi and found out from them the time when the star had first appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you’ve found him, report to me so that I too may go and honor him.”

Matthew 2:1-8

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Think

The magi’s journey from Persia to Palestine is a trip for which Siri would not even try to give directions. If it had been wise women instead of wise men they might have asked for directions, arrived on time, delivered the baby, and brought practical gifts.

The wise men’s unreasonable trip could not have a reasonable beginning. What could have started them on their way? Some unexplainable longing led them to follow a light without knowing where it would take them.

Every one of us has a longing for God. We do not always recognize this desire for what it is, but our spirits hunger for meaning, our souls for hope, and our hearts for love.

Why are you reading this devotional today? You may have mixed motives, but part of your reason may be the faint hope that you will feel God’s presence. You have been called forth like the wise men. You feel the pull of God’s love.

Brett Younger

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Pray

God of that blessed Christmas morning and of every morning, the wise men traveled a long distance to bring gifts to the object of their love. Help me give the best I have in the hope that you will use my gifts. Amen.

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Go

Once you were in darkness, but now by the grace of God you have seen the light and become light.

Live today as a child of God’s light.

Brett Younger

Brett Younger teaches preaching and worship at the McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta. He was a pastor in Texas, Kansas, and Indiana. He and his wife Carol have two sons, Graham and Caleb.

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