The Wise Men’s Guide

Its crazy how often I start a post and never finish what I was going to type. Often for various reasons, sometimes phone calls, or someone wants something that has to be done instantly. Sometimes the words fail me or I get to the end of a post and I look back at the inadequacy of my words. I’ve sat down many times this week to blog about my New Years Day service and each time I’ve got three lines into the introduction and one of the above has happened. Preaching a message is so much easier. But I wish to write it here to remind myself of my own words throughout the year. My sermon had a title. I don’t often title my sermons, but this just seemed to happen. The Wise Men’s Guide to 2012. Like many traditional sermons it had three points (also all titled so all I had to have in front of me was one title and a subheading – saving the world less notes at a time.) 

My first point (and please if you know me and I struggle with any of these through out the year please refer me back to this blog post!) is Great Expectations. At the beginning of this year do we have great expectations. I cannot imagine the wise men setting out halfway around the world on a very long journey if they did not have great expectations for what was to happen. When we go on holidays we have great expectations of relaxation or adventure (depending on your particular holiday persuasion.)  The wise Men had poured out into charts and built there lives around stars and here was one of the greatest possibilites they could take so they followed. This year do I have great expectations of God and what he is going to do for me and how I am going to serve him. I have expectations: to hopefully finish my degree, to get a job, to finish my local preachers, to find somewhere to live, to candidate. But I also have to be aware that I’m following Gods will and if his star leads me down a different path then who am I to not let go of my current expectations and move forward to his. I’m sure the Wise men were busy people, who had a lot to do, probably some very important engagements were to happen in there time away, but they had greater expectations in what God was doing than there plans.  This year I pray for Greater Expectations of God. 

My second point was about the ups and downs we face in our year. We know on any journey we go on there are better parts and worse parts, and I’m sure trekking to find the new born King was no different. I always imagine that the wise men would have had that mountain top moment surrounded by the pure beauty of creation, but we also see that these men are human and get things wrong as they enter Herod’s palace. In my heart I expect they knew this as they entered, that sinking feeling, that intuition that tells you that something is wrong. However, what I love more about that wise Men’s story is not only do they get it wrong but God uses that situation to the Wise Men on the right path, he gives them more information, a new direction and heads them on their way. I can see this happened before in my Christian journey moments when I’ve got it wrong and he’s put me right, and I can also know I’ve sometimes been blind to God’s beauty when its all going well. For 2012 I hope I open my eyes more to what God is doing.

Thirdly I hope that what ever happens good or bad this year I keep coming to praise God. Turning my face solely on Jesus and offering what ever I have to give him, like the Wise Men did all them years ago. I hope this time next year I will be able to look back and see the points that have been amazing because God made them beautiful, see the points were even though I’ve got it wrong God will put me back on that path that is straight and narrow, and once again I just lift my voice in all situations to praise him with all that I have. 

This year I’m going to expect great things, going to ask God to open my eyes, and I’m going to praise him, Praise him when its good, praise when its bad, and praise him even louder when it is truly truly ugly… this is my prayer. 

The service was a nice service, I enjoyed it, however I would also like to ask you not only to think about what the Wise Men’s journey means for your 2012 but also pray for a family in my church who lost a a wonderful Lady (Fiance and Mother) in the early hours of New Years Day, and also for the church and those who are supporting them at this time. I’m not sure I will ever forget this New Years Day service because of the loss felt by our church family, but also because God is still good and has a message for us to hear. 

I leave you with this song by Matt Redman, a song I have not stopped sing these last two weeks. 

“The sun comes up
Its a new day dawning
Its time to sing your song again
What ever may pass and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes”
 – 10,000 Reason (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman


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