Follow the Star

1-6By Barbara Carter, Council of Twelve Apostles

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men…“Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage…And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

—Matthew 2:7–8, 10–12

The wise men who followed the star were seekers. A new star had appeared, and they believed its appearance was the sign of a spectacular event. Their seeking eventually led them to Jesus.

The story in Matthew tells us that after finding Jesus, they returned home a different way.This passage describes the original plan to go tell King Herod where the child was. But I like to think of it this way. After the wise men encountered Jesus, could they go home untouched? They traveled for many years, and once they found Jesus, they would never be the same. That meeting changed their lives and had an impact on them in untold ways.

Isn’t this the same for us? After meeting and learning of Jesus, his teachings, his compassion, his love for all people, his message of justice and peace for the world today, can we go back to who we were? In this meeting, our lives have experienced a touch of grace that allows us to see the world through different eyes. Even if we traveled the same road that brought us to thisplace, we would never see or experience it as before.

It is that way with Christ. Once you have had an encounter, you cannot return home the same.

Prayer for Peace
Creator God, as we search for your star anew, may we encounter your life-changing Spirit. May we pay attention to our journey on the outward path. As the love of Christ touches us, may we return as new and vibrant disciples of peace.

Spiritual Practice: Encountering Scripture as Continuing Revelation
Read and pray with Doctrine and Covenants as Continuing Revelation of God’s vision for the church and creation. Choose a favorite section or focus on counsel in Sections 156–164. Read a few selected paragraphs slowly three or four times. Pause to pray for deep understanding after each reading.

Pray for the opening of your heart and emotions. Prayerfully ask to hear the phrase or word that speaks to you or touches your life. Stay with this word or phrase. Listen as fully and openly as you can. What sense of divine presence or invitation comes? What is revealed?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will awaken to Christ’s mission and discern a new path.

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1 Comment

  1. Dennis Aldridge

     /  6 January 2013

    I agree! I have preached this sermon a number of times in different places. I often takes courage to go a different way.

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