I’ve been thinking of that old nursery rhyme getting ready for Sunday’s message on the wise men who followed the Star of Bethlehem. The last part of that verse, “have the wish I wish tonight,” also makes me think of a line from one of the sermons in our Advent series. It actually came from Pastor Jevon when we were preparing for that message. “If God answered your prayers, would the world look any different or just your life?” Of all the things I take from Advent into the new year it is that question. What am I praying for, or wishing for, that if God granted it, would not only help me but the world? Could it actually be a both-and?
I often have the answers to my prayers figured out before asking, and what I’m really praying for are the specific ways I want God to work. “God, help me have contentment (but in this way…),” “God, help me experience meaning and reward in what I do (but this is how I want that to look…), “God, help me not to feel so lonely or empty (by providing this…).”
But when I bring God’s desires for the world into the picture, my prayers broaden. “God give me contentment in honoring you; help me to find reward in what I do regardless of how that looks; give me contentment in helping others not feel so empty."
The Morning Star was a way of speaking of Jesus. Peter wrote that God's Word is our one true light in a dark time as we wait for the rising of the Morning Star in our hearts. Here’s how I interpret that: As we focus our attention on allowing Christ to shine through us, life will feel like the sun is coming up. So what might it look like to wish upon The Star this year?