Feedback on Matthew 2 from LRG
Great approach to seeking to reclaim the true spirit of Christmas by
way of Epiphany. A jarring juxtaposition of the mayhem in Bethlehem,
with the excess of an American shopping mall. The Church of the Nativity
story grows ever more poignant.
"Preparing for the journey" is your theme, and you make the connection
between the magi and the incoming church officers. That's a great image
to plant in their hearts and minds as they undertake to fulfill God's
call! I appreciate your reference to the ordination vows, which are too
often overlooked in all the shuffling. This is a good word to those who
hope to be wise women and men as they seek Christ in the life of the
Good juxtaposition off the "glamor" of the star, and the
unexpectedness, ordinariness, and sometimes disappointment of where it
led. Your reference to the "God is with us" syndrome is great ("He's
with the hungry Afghan"). Your conclusion leads heaerers to reflect on
our investment in the status quo and what are our hopes, really?
Different types of confidence, and different objects for that
confidence: I especially appreciated the shift you pointed out in the
"wsie men's" confidence from self to God. Herod by contrast is unable or
unwilling to undertake any such transforming journey. You describe the
obstacles to our growth in true confidence including the culturalization
of Christmas, wealth, etc.Tying it back to the magi, you encourage us to
look for the signs, placing our trust and confidence in God.
This message points listeners in the direction of the purposes of God.
Lives lived in faith are not a series of random events or happenstance.
Our faith is a response to God's sovereign call. By faith the ancient
astrologers discovered a real purpose for their journeying. That same
divine call leads us on today. This is a good relating of a familiar
aspect of the Christmas story to the universal human quest for meaning.
This was helpful to me in that I saw a new light shed on the meaning
of this text for political and economic refugees. The underlying
narrative of hope can strengthen all those who for whatever reason have
found themselves in a distant land or place, far from home.