December 24, 2014

Navigating the Bumps

Matthew 2:9-12

Having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
—Matthew 2:12


Spring in the northern United States and Canada is a time of mixed blessings. Even though we love to see the snow and deep frost of winter melt away, we also know the inevitable reality of potholes. When pothole season arrives, you have to learn how to drive in a new way. If you are oblivious to holes in the road and you don’t slow down and swerve to miss them, your vehicle can get badly damaged.

Once the Magi from the east had worshiped Jesus, they were warned of trouble they could encounter on their way back home. The arrival of a king from heaven meant there would be a new season with some treacherous obstacles to navigate. Herod had lied when he had said that he wished to worship the new king. If the Magi had reported back to him, they would have contributed to Herod’s evil plan to eliminate the threat of this new king.

Even these wise scholars needed help from God to steer clear of Herod’s treachery. The realities of deception, evil, and manipulation can be difficult to navigate in a world that is corrupted by sin. If we go through life oblivious to the dangers of sin, we can do great damage to ourselves and others.

But God will not let his plans fail. He offers wisdom to guide, and he will even intervene to assure that his promises are kept.

Heavenly Father, guide us around the pitfalls of life that can easily lead us astray. We trust in your unfailing promises. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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