advent: stars and stables

John Maxwell asks, “What if you follow a star and find a stable?”

Consider the Magi. Wisemen from the East, donned in kingly array, bearing precious gifts for the new King. On their long journey, following the special heavenly star, anticipating a grand royal palace, royal court and kingly throne.

Instead, the eastern kings find Bethlehem, a farmyard, a baby in an animal manger with his young mother, surrounded by animals and shepherds. In following a star, they found a manger.

Pause to think of situations in your own life. You are filled with high expectations, only to have them dashed in great disappointment. The most recent circumstances for me include, retirement expectations dashed as I cared for gravely ill family members. Sustained injuries including hip, vision, and dental, placing serious restrictions on my plans to travel, write, voracious reading, rejuvenating piano skills, hiking, etc.

When our hopes are high, and expectations crushed, what is our response? We can learn from the Magi, the kings who worshiped the babe Jesus, God incarnate. They offered most precious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And, they changed their direction of travel.

May we also bring our best to God and allow Him to change the direction of our lives, “enabling us to become the great men and women of God He wants us to be.”

John Maxwell (2013) On this Holy Night: the Heart of Christmas

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