9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy—Matthew 2:9-10

I am always amazed at how easy it is to get lost in a new town. I’ve lived here for over a year now but having not had lots of opportunity to get out and about, I don’t know where many roads are, what sites are worth seeing, or how to get from here to there the quickest.

It’s frustrating because I’m used to knowing an area well in pretty short order so I can not have to rely on GPS. But GPS has been my best friend lately. I rely on it to keep me from getting lost or making a wrong turn.

Our friends, the Magi, were in a similar boat. They relied on the star to guide them to where the new king of the Jews would be. So how did they end up in Jerusalem? I wonder if they didn’t follow that star for two years, and as they came nearer, assumed that a king of the Jews would naturally be in Jerusalem.

How often do we allow God to guide us toward a new vision, dream or ministry, only to take a detour at the last minute because we assume it must be what God intended? We find ourselves going the wrong direction because we stopped following God’s leading and relied on our own intuition or historical knowledge.

God gave the Magi a star to follow, and once the priests said, “the prophecy points to Bethlehem, not Jerusalem” they continued to follow the star, and it led them right to the Messiah. We, too, are given a star to follow, I believe. God offers each of us a path to follow, a path that leads to peace, joy, and community; and God gives us a light to follow: Jesus. As we listen to Jesus’ words, see his ministry of healing and justice, and contemplate the resurrection of Jesus for the reconciliation of the world, we are given the light of faith to guide us.

Today, I pray that you continue to look to nothing other than the light of Jesus as your star, guiding you to move ever closer to the God of love.