There is no such thing in the universe as a one-person event. The story isn’t about us alone. Even with our narrow focus, the narrative begins with me and the God-Who-Is-Humble.
My grandfather would remind us that the story of Jonah not only includes the sailors who rid themselves of Jonah, but the Great Fish, who, besides acting on behalf of God’s plan, learns that the biggest things one swallows can also be spit out.
While we seek God, God is involved in the lives of all those around us, even those we perceive as hostile. Jesus teaches us that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us—not in a feigned act of holiness, but in humility. When the work of God is not about us alone, we can relinquish the ultimate outcome to the person of God.
In another part of the world from Bethlehem, scholars have been watching the sky. We do not know their tradition or when they first see the star. We do not know if they know one another or if seeing the star brings them together. We do not know when they leave or arrive, or how long their journey will be. We do know that the star is a sign to them and they believe. We know that their belief brings them toward Bethlehem. And they come to worship.
Not what they know, but what they do not, brings the scholars to Herod. Their dream leads them home another way. But Herod is not just a pawn. He too is given the gift of the star.
You-Who-Are-Truth, Should I expect That I alone have seen the star? Should I be astonished When you also give the light To those who would hurt you?
This week we celebrate the birth of Jesus! Isaiah reminds us that all that God does, including the sending of a Savior, flows from God’s compassion and steadfast love. The psalmist declares that from the angels in heaven to the works of creation to all the kings and peoples of the earth, all should praise the exalted name of God. The “horn” is a metaphor used elsewhere in the Hebrew scriptures that is traditionally interpreted by Christians as a prophecy of the Messiah. The author of Hebrews emphasizes the humanity of Christ. Christ fully partakes of our human nature so that he would understand our weakness and fully execute his role as our high priest. Matthew interprets through prophecy the perilous early travels of the young Jesus.
Read Isaiah 63:7-9. How has God’s presence saved you?
Read Psalm 148. How can you praise God for the glory of creation around you in your daily life?
Read Hebrews 2:10-18. How does your relationship with the Child-of-God-Who-Is-Humble help you understand yourself as related to all other human beings?
Read Matthew 2:13-23. How has your church or faith community made the choice to act in the best interest of the institution rather than to follow God’s way of humility?
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