Sunday, 8 January 2017

A Different Way

We're in the season of Epiphany, when it is traditional to remember the wise men who came to visit the baby Jesus. The Bible account records that after they had seen the child, God warned them in a dream not to report back to King Herod - so they returned home by a different way.
This phrase has challenged me a lot in the past week, since I heard it read last Sunday in church in Norfolk.
Having encountered Jesus, their lives were changed - forever. They understood things which they had never grasped before. The dictionary definition of the word Epiphany is; 
A manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something, an intuitive grasp of reality through something simple and striking, an illuminating discovery, or realization.
They went home by a different way. OK, I know that means 'by another route', but I suspect it also meant that ever afterwards, maybe they saw life in a different way, and their behaviour was changed because of their Epiphany.
For me, personally, I believe this applies in two ways - when I first truly encountered Jesus and became a Christian, my life was turned round, and I started living in a different way. But also, my daily experiences of God's grace should also affect the way I think and act. I need to be constantly re-evaluating things, asking WWJD? 
Sainsbury's tagline 'Our values make us different' applies just as much to those of us who claim to be walking the path of faith s it does to supermarket operations. 
Even with my strong Nonconformist heritage, it is not always easy to be different - sometimes it is tempting to just shut up and blend in with the crowd.
But this year, 
I want to have the courage to speak out for what is true and just
I want to have the strength to stop and help those in need, not pass by on the other side
I want to have the faith to say 'this is wrong, and we can work to change it for the better'
I want to have the hope that believes things will be different
and above all
I want to have the love that says 'OK you are different from me in some way - but I still care about you, and want the best for you'


  1. Many people choose words for the year - I think these words at the end of your post should be mine. Or in a short cut: "Another Way" Thank you for the challenge.

  2. A very profound post. I think we are going to need those sentiments you've expressed, more than ever!


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