Pastor’s Corner: Another Road

A painting of the magi on the road.

January 6, 2021

“And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.” – Matthew 2:12

On January 6th, we are well into the season of “Have you broken all your New Year’s resolutions yet?” jokes. The portrait of well-intended but lightly-made, lightly-taken, and briefly-held resolutions is a staple of American culture. To be truthful, the season of the jokes may well outlast some of the resolutions. Personally, I hold off on this sort of thing until Lent. Lenten disciplines, after all, are supposed to be temporary.

The visiting magi, “wise men from the East,” had sought directions from King Herod and the temple officials in Jerusalem to discover the location of the newborn. Herod directed them to Bethlehem with the instructions to return to him with the child’s address. I assume they promised to do so, but when they had paid their visit to Bethlehem they heeded the warning of a dream and went home by another route.

We know nothing more of these wise men or the name of “their own country.” We know they dared frustrate a king. We do not know whether their new choice of route was longer, more difficult, or more dangerous. We just know that when confronted by a risk of harm to the Messiah they came to honor, they chose another way. The destination remained the same. The route shifted.

Perhaps we might frame our resolutions a bit more like the magi. We make them so that we might live healthier, more spiritually, more generously, more wisely. Not all of the methods we choose will help us to do so. Some simply don’t work. Others lead to the lurking dangers of Herods. Those should be discarded.

The destination, however, remains the same: better health in body and spirit, wiser and more generous souls. If one method fails, try another. At any time of the year: take another road.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

The image is The Magi Journeying by James Tissot – Online Collection of Brooklyn Museum; Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2006, 00.159.30_PS1.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10195787.

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: , , | Posted on January 7, 2021

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1 Comment

  1. by Elaine Munro

    On January 13, 2021

    I wonder if there were any in that mob who, like the magi, took another route and left the capitol. I saw several Christian videos claiming that Antifa was at the heart of it. But now, as more people are arrested and revealed to their home town communities, I wonder how many of them had a church community, too?

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