Epiphany Resolutions: Going Home By Another Road

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel’.”

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road. Matthew 2:1-12

 

It’s still Christmas, a week before the visit of the Magi is pencilled in on the church calendar. My tree is still up and lit, and I flip on the outside Christmas lights when daylight fades. My sons are still on vacation (a short one this year), and my husband has a light work load for another day or so.

The same cannot be said for most of the world beyond my door. Christmas candy is 75% off, Super Bowl hype has already started, and Valentines are filling the specialty card sections of the local drug stores. Champagne and sparkling cider are prominently displayed – liquid provisions to usher in 2016. In TV land, resolutions have taken over morning show discussions.

Epiphany and New Year’s resolutions come simultaneously, but I haven’t spend much time pondering this. For whatever reason, the Magi going home by another road and resolving to leave the usual patterns behind have linked up in my mind this week. And so, with the start of 2016, I’ll see what going home by another road looks like a la New Year’s resolutions…who knows where a new road will take me before I make it home…

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

2 thoughts on “Epiphany Resolutions: Going Home By Another Road”

  1. One of the management courses I wrote and taught over many years was entitled “Managing Yourself and Others”. In this 3 day seminar we started with the premise that in order to manage and then lead others effectively we need to learn self-management skills. At the end of the first day’s session, I challenged people to take a different road to the seminar site the next day and talk about it–to run the risk of getting lost, even. It was quite revealing for some to experience the lack of certainty and increased awareness that can occur when taking “another road”. Some planned everything out in detail the night before while some were more “serendipitous”;nevertheless, it proved useful to most even with some arriving later than planned (which gave us material for the time management portion later that morning). I hadn’t thought of this in years, so thank you, Johnna, for reminding me to try another road or two in 2016 and perhaps experiencing the delight and apprehension in not knowing where it might lead.

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