December 19: Prepare (Advent 2014 Devotional)

Matthew 2:1-2 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.”

advent

When we think about the Wise Men going to Jesus, we typically picture the final destination (after meeting with King Herod). In this picture, we can see the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It is easy to picture Mary and Joseph’s surprise and amazement at these men and their expensive gifts. What we typically do not focus on is the journey the men took, out of faith, to get to this newborn baby, Savior of the world, Christ the Lord.

These men (unknown number of travelers) went on a journey of faith to follow a “star” in the heavens. We do not know when this heavenly sign appeared for the men, but we do know after they saw the sign, they left on a journey that would take weeks, months to get to their destination. And they probably were not sure exactly what they would find when they arrived. They traveled over mountains, valleys, through deserts. God is giving each one of us a sign to follow.

What sign has God given you? We can easily allow life to get in the way and cloud our vision from seeing all that God is doing and showing us. This is why we pause each year at Advent (4 weeks prior to Christmas) to pause and “reset” our hearts to once again be renewed by the gift of Jesus Christ. This is the gift we seek in our journey, our life. This is the gift that will be revealed to us when we seek. This is the gift that changes us inside and out. The journey we are on is incredible!

The journey we will take, by faith, is a journey that will lead us through the hardships of life, ups and downs, alone and accompanied. How will you take this challenge of God and step into this new year? Let’s take this journey to see where it ends up and we can meet the King of Kings face to face. All we have to offer is ourselves and that’s all he offered when he came to earth as a baby to die on a cross over 30 years later. What a journey, but to see Him face to face…WOW!

Thank you God for walking with us through life’s journey and the challenges we go through. Continue to guide and strengthen us, even when the journey seems too far or too difficult. Thank you for Jesus Christ! Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

Published by

Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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