God likes to do things by sending us another way. Ancient Israel had long expected a glorious reign of a promised king from the line of David. But for most of the time since their Babylonian exile, the kings were not close to anyone’s hope for a good leader. And they weren’t related to David. Herod the Great, the king we meet in the story of Jesus’ birth, wasn’t even fully Jewish. He was an opportunist military commander, placed into leadership by the Romans to further their own Middle Eastern agendas.
But everything is about to change in our reading [Matthew 2:1-12]. Wise men recognize this change and make the trip from Babylon, foreshadowing that God’s rule means peace and prosperity for every nation, tongue, and tribe.
—Joy J. Moore, “Let’s Get Started . . . Again,” in The Upper Room Disciplines 2024: A Book of Daily Devotions (Upper Room Books, 2023)
When has God “sent you another way” rather than on the route you expected? Join the conversation.
When [the magi] saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored [Jesus]. . . . Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.
—Matthew 2:10-12 (CEB)
Prayer for the Week
Creator God, enable us to move through the chaos into the new creation you alone have promised. Amen. —Prayer by Joy J. Moore
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Baptism of the Lord
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