Matthew 2: 1-12


Re-alignment has been a painful experience. For me, it took a running injury to grab my attention and the realisation my body needed physical re-alignment to make me pay attention to my bigger and deeper spiritual need. The good thing is, I’m now practising more intentionally, two things, which are helping me keep on track with God’s purposes for my life:

  1. Fixing my eyes on Jesus and his priorities
  2. More regularly taking my spiritual compass bearings

We actually know very little about these mystical, adventurers referred to as ‘Magi’, who we’ve become accustomed to referring to as ‘wise men’. What we do know is they left all they were familiar with to follow, or rather, to discover, the purposes of God. It’s easy to call them ‘wise’ with hindsight, but I wonder how many of us would have thought this then, especially if we’d known them back east? ‘We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’ Really? On what evidence? They would only really know they were right when they arrived at the stable.

That’s the same for us isn’t it on many days? We seldom really know how a conversation is going to be heard, or whether sowing a seed of compassion in someone else’s life will take root, or whether our next step of faith with God will reveal the following one (or as we’d prefer, cause the whole map to drop down from heaven), do we? But we do these things. We practise re-alignment, just like the Magi, whenever we walk in the direction we believe God is calling us to take a step in. If the Magi had been content thinking they’d seen the star of Jesus and simply waited until they heard the news from the west, we’d never have known them and they’d probably never have known either. Fixing our eyes on Jesus can’t stay in our head!

The annoying thing about taking a compass bearing regularly is having to stop and think and pay attention when you really want to get on with your journey.

The good thing about taking a compass bearing regularly is, when you’re off course, it’s easier and quicker to get back on course. Think about it … one degree out is next to nothing after ten minutes walking, but after three miles it’s a noticeable distance. So it is with walking with God. A daily heart check … ‘what am I hearing from God’, ‘where am I seeing God at work’, ‘where am I going with these two things today?’, ‘what am I embodying/taking on board?’ all helps to keep on track, or as schools talk ‘on message’, which is not a bad theme for followers of Jesus.

PS the big challenge we talked about at one our meetings last week was the realisation it was Herod, calling his advisors together, who may well have given the Magi the Bethlehem info (3-5)!

Prayer: Dear Lord. Show me where my priorities need to re-align with yours in my life today. (then be quiet, be still and listen). Amen.

 

Nigel Coles

Nigel is our Senior Regional Minister and Team Leader. He facilitates the life of the WEBA network team and oversees the missional strategy for the region. He also works to develop missional strategy over a wider geographical area with our partner Associations. Nigel is the main WEBA contact for churches and ministers seeking new leadership opportunities, and he works to encourage individual disciples of Jesus through his ‘DNA groups’ resource.