Good Shepherd Lutheran Church


The Shepherd's Staff

Advent Devotion - Week 4 - The Star

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Advent Devotion - Week 4 - The Star

Matthew 2:9-10 "After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed."

Journeys, most of us set out on them with an end destination in mind. The wisemen followed a star, not knowing how long and how far this heavenly light would take them. They have little information about what the journey would entail, few details about what or who they would encounter, but they still keep following the star. Step after step, they continue on with the star being their focus.

Every year is a journey. None of us know what we will experience from the ups and downs that will come our way. We don’t get to have the details of God’s plan or his timing. There are times where, if I’m honest, I have pretended like I am more in control of what happens along my trek than I really am. I have lived like I know more than I do. 2020, in some ways, has been like a cold bucket of water being dumped on me. I had lulled myself into a slumber, and then this ice-cold reality shocked me awake. This year has been a reminder that our job is not to know what is up ahead. Our job is to follow. It’s to take just one more faithful step.

The thing is, we take one more step without fully knowing what we’re walking into next.  Sometimes I wish God would just tell me what to do and where to go. I wish he would spell it out, send a sign, but really, he has. He spelled it out--he tells me in his word “follow me.” He sent a sign--his son became one of us. He’s told us where to go--just follow in the footsteps of Jesus. We take one more step forward--that’s it. One more act of love, one more prayer, one more encouraging word, one more offer of forgiveness. Sometimes one more step might feel like all you can handle. The journey isn’t the focus; the focus is Christ. No matter what we experience, who we meet, what this life throws at us, every moment is a chance to follow Christ. It sounds too simple, but that’s what it’s all about.

2020—not a great year. Our job? Follow Christ.
The best year ever. Our job? Follow Christ.
You encounter some Herod’s along your journey. Our job? Follow Christ.

The wisemen take step after step, and finally they find the place where the star rests. They see Jesus with his parents, and they fall down and worship him. So many steps and events brought them to this moment. I wonder if there were ever moments where they thought about giving up or turning back? If they had, though, think of what they would have missed. I pray that if you feel weary this Christmas that you find the encouragement to take just one more step. We each are struggling in our own ways, and it can take its toll. We don’t know how much longer distance learning, COVID 19, shutdowns, economic issues, or job losses will continue on. But we know we have a faithful God who wants to guide us and reveal himself to us. Just like the wiseman, when we encounter Jesus, we will be filled with some much awe that we too will be overcome with worship—we just have to take one more step.

  1. What have been some of the biggest challenges for you and your family this year?
  2. Where and how have you experienced God’s direction and guidance in 2020?
  3. Spend some time in prayer sharing your fears, what is wearing you down, or anything else you want to talk to God about.