As we said, when angels visit, it cannot simply be “business as usual.” When we encounter angels, they usually inadvertently disrupt our routines: We end up with our furniture rearranged, if not our lives turned upside down.
We saw this in both Zechariah’s and Joseph’s respective encounters with the angel. We see it again here with the Wise Men.
The first angelic invitation to the Wise Men is: REFUSE YOUR FEARS!
To disobey the king is not an easy thing to do especially if the king is irrational and quite capable of slaughtering innocents. The Wise Men were probably–but understandably–stricken with fear as they considered what was being asked of them.
Fear is a natural instinct, and there is nothing wrong with being afraid. The brave are by no means exempt from experiencing fear; they are not necessarily fearless. But they act and do the right thing even if they are afraid. That is what makes them brave. The Wise Men were being asked to do the brave thing.
How about you? Are you likewise being invited to face one fear that might be paralyzing you and enslaving you? Could it be the case that the gift that God wants to give you this Christmas is a liberation from this fear?
If that is the case, then your Advent angel’s message to you is the same as the Wise Men’s: REFUSE YOUR FEARS! Don’t let your fears run your life. Face them bravely and do the right thing!
The second call of the angel to the Wise Men is: RESUME YOUR JOURNEY!
The Wise Men may have thought that once their search is completed, it is the end of the journey for them. They can retire from all the searching and all the journeying. Ironically, however, the end of this journey only signals the beginning of a new one. Moreover, their journey home could not simply consist of retracing their original route; they needed to “go another way.”
It’s quite possible that you are being asked to do the same in your life, given what’s going on there. Did you, for some reason, think it’s already “game over,” that it’s already time to “throw in the towel”? Well, think again. God may have a brand new journey for you. Are you up to it?
Consider your life and think about these:
What kind of fear, if any, are you being invited to refuse?
What kind of journey are you being called on to resume?
Play this instrumental piece as you reflect on these questions.
Share your response below if you’re up to it.
Music: Julian Lloyd Webber’s “To a Wild Rose”