We usually do not like to be told what to do. But, have you received an instruction or direction that at first sounded weird or unnecessary, but when you followed through with it found out it to be the very best information you could have received? This often happens to me. Following instructions that differ from what I either want to do or think I should do is hard or at least meets with some resistance. But it really pays to follow good advice.
The Magi were warned in a dream to go back to their homes by a different way than they had come because King Herod was threatening to do them some harm. This surprising disclosure came to them in a dream and they did what they were told to do. Although we do not have any follow up information about the men, I think it is safe to say they were happy they followed the advice.
Are you and I willing to follow good advice and direction given to us? The Epiphany story shares the good news of God’s gift of the baby Jesus for everyone, Jews and Gentiles alike, and Epiphany announces God desire to be a part of the lives that we live day by day. And being a part of our lives means he will be sharing directions and giving encouragements promising to keep us safe and healthy.
Directions like “be kind”, or “follow me” are ones we might initially chafe at doing but I think we all know the positive outcomes they bring. These “directions” come from a God and from people who love us and want only the best for us. Our responding to their encouragement and direction by going that “different way” can truly make all the difference in the world.
What “surprising disclosures” have you been telling yourself or have family and friends been sharing with you, or have you heard from God in a variety of different ways? “Slow down”, “take better care of yourself physically”, “forgive or accept forgiveness” or any other such health messages are as valuable to us as was the advice for the Magi to go home by a different road.
Epiphany means bringing light into whatever darkness lives within us or in the relationships we have with others. Remember, God loves us and wants to love others through us.
Prayer: Take me life and let it be, consecrated Lord to thee. Amen