A Wise Man Once Said, “Why Not Go Another Way?”

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Bradley Robertson

It’s the Christmas season friends, and my heart is full of hope. I look all around me, into the harsh edges and creases of our world and I see beams and sparks of light piercing through all of it.

In my own home, where we have felt uncertainty, I see rest and peace and comfort in the sweet, still faces of my children. I can see calm in chaos and beauty among thorns. Our outside world has not changed very much, for some it may even appear darker, but I wonder, if the circumstances aren’t that different, then where does this view of the light come from that wasn’t present for me last year?

What has changed in 12 months’ time that my bucket of hope is overflowing and the light in my heart is brighter?

This has been my journey of self, or maybe it is a journey for many…

What do you think of when you hear the word “repent”?

Repent, from its original Greek roots, actually means, “to turn and go another way.” It literally means to turn around.

Its Greek word, Metanoia, refers to “a change of mind.” In Hebrew, the word is Nacham. Which translates into “motivation to take a different course of action.”

Here is where I found my answer, back to the roots of words, back to the stories of Christmas.

In this holy season, there is the most amazing story told of three wise kings. Three kings given a plan. Three kings who decided, to turn and go another way. Their decision changed the world. A simple decision that saved us all.

There were three wise men, also astrologists, wealthy kings, under the finger of King Herod. They arrived to greet him and asked of the child.

“Where is the child who has been born King of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising and have come to pay homage.” (Matthew 2:2)

This scared Herod. For what other king shall there be besides himself?

The Wise Men gladly told Herod the child was in Bethlehem, just as it had been written by the prophets. King Herod, with his own ambitions, asked that the Wise Men to go and find the baby.

“… And when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.  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.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” Matthew 2: 8-12

Wise Men, sent by the Lord. Men who took great risk by ignoring Herod and simply going another way. Men following a star, resting high above a baby. The baby brought to the world as the gift of life.  A lamb to be taken. A baby sent to be broken for me and you.

What if these Wise Men had not turned around? What if they had not been still long enough to see the glory of the Lord in a baby. They immediately believed and therefore they followed the will of God. They followed the light. They changed their minds. And the rest of the entire world was saved because of it.

This is where I found the treasure of which it took me 12 months to journey to, I had to decide to go another way. I had to turn around, see God for who he truly is, and follow his way, not my own.

You see the world will always be pulling us into it. There will always be a tempting factor around every corner, but the choice to trust the God of the universe, over our own ideas and ways, is the key to peace at heart.

I would like to meet these wise men. I’d like to give them a gift and tell them thank you. But the gift has already been given. A baby to save us. And a lesson for the people today, that it is okay to turn and go another way.

God has a plan and a will for me and you. He has order and joy, peace and hope to place in our hands. He just asks us to follow him, and the Lord will fulfill his promises to you, just as he did many, many years ago in Bethlehem.

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