Ordinary Moments – Jan 3

Steven PutmanLiturgy

Wise Men See God in the Simple Things

If you’re on social media, you have probably seen a meme going around that features this quote: “God has a plan for your life. The enemy has a plan for your life. Be ready for both. Just be wise enough to know which one to battle and which one to embrace.”

There were certainly two competing plans for the Magi: God’s and Herod’s. And, wise as they supposedly were, it wasn’t entirely easy for the Magi to discern which was which.

After all, Herod posed as a friend. He offered the Magi hospitality and kindness. Though the Gospel doesn’t say so, he probably flattered them and appealed to every moral weakness he could observe in them. In his palace, they must have felt great physical comfort — rest and tables of plenty on what was an otherwise long and treacherous journey.

But if the Magi were honest with themselves, I’ll bet they would have admitted that, regardless of Herod’s charm, they felt a gnawing sense of doubt while in his presence. When they looked upon the Christ Child, born in a stable without any of the comforts of the world or protections of wealth, they probably felt the opposite. They probably felt safe.

The Magi were lucky enough to have the right plan spelled out for them in a dream, but for the rest of us, it’s enough to remember this: God’s plan is often the one that leads us to places of great simplicity, great humility and great love. Let’s have the wisdom to view power with suspicion, and innocence with admiration.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS