Friday, December 25, 2009

Following Yonder Star

It must be challenging for a pastor to preach about Christmas. The story is so familiar—what could he say that is new or fresh? How can he make the story compelling to those of us who have heard it all of our lives?

Thankfully, the power of the Christmas story doesn’t lie with the messenger. The news of Jesus’ birth is inspiring without any embellishment.

Our pastor, Pastor Lance, preached a mighty fine Christmas sermon last Sunday focusing on the three wise men. (Though, as he pointed out, we’re not told how many wise men there were. We just assume there were three because three gifts are mentioned.) He described their journey, comparing it to the travels many of us make at Christmas time. I had to smile when he pointed out that the wise men stopped and asked for directions.

But the comment that really hit home with me was when he described the magi’s destination: “Their destination wasn’t a place,” Pastor said, “it was a person.”

What is my "destination" this Christmas, where do I hope to end up? Beside a perfectly decorated tree? At the register with the ideal gift? At the dining room table, serving the quintessential Christmas dinner? If any of these are my destination, then I need to reset my compass. I need to end up at the feet of Jesus on Christmas morning.

I hope you, too, find yourself at the right destination this Christmas Day. Merry Christmas.