The day after Christmas…
The day you wake up 5 pounds heavier to a big mess…
The day after all the excitement…
What do you have after the excitement?
I assure you, life is a series of ups and downs. There will be things to look forward to, then those things will pass and there will be a lull. Almost an emptiness. A lost feeling. An uncertainty about where to focus your efforts next.
Have you ever heard of a “Goal Hole”? It’s the hole you find yourself in after reaching a big goal. It’s that unexpected loss of motivation once you’ve arrived to where you were striving to get. It’s the day after Christmas, when suddenly you’re regretting all the Christmas decorations you put up this year. Can I trick you into believing you “GET TO” take them down now?
What about the day after Jesus was born? This miraculous promise Mary had received was now a real life baby laying in a manger. Yeah, now what? I opened my bible this morning and began reading what came next, searching for a guide for each of us in this day of life. And here’s what I found.
Matthew 2:1-2 MSG “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.”
That last sentence just jumped off the page and grabbed my heart. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.
This is what we do today. The day after Christmas, we are on pilgrimage. A mission, a journey, a quest to find and worship Jesus. We were thinking of him yesterday as we celebrated his birth, now today, we look for him!
Where will you find Jesus today? Where will you find evidence of his saving grace in your life? Where will you notice his fingerprints on the unfolding miraculous details that otherwise appear so ordinary? Where will you look and find, this is undoubtedly the work of Jesus in my life! There’s simply no other way to explain this!
This “band of scholars” we read about on their pilgrimage to worship Jesus are commonly referred to as the 3 wise men. They’re in the nativity scene, with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, divinely led to Jesus by a star in the sky.
They found Jesus because they were looking for him. Just as we will find Jesus when we look for him. But, if we’re not looking today, we may overlook his presence in our lives. We may focus on the mess and miss the miracle. We may dwell on the burden of work and miss the blessing of worship.
Let’s go looking for Jesus today! Let’s go on this pilgrimage to find and worship him! Let’s set out on a journey to seek him in every detail as life unfolds. Let’s be on a mission to recognize his fingerprints on all that appears so incredibly ordinary, and realize how truly extraordinary it is.
Girl, you have no idea what Jesus did to make all of this possible for you. You didn’t even see the mountains he had to move to bring you here. You were never even aware of the seas he had to part to make this path for your next step. You were completely clueless of the battles he fought as you slept peacefully just last night.
But if you will dedicate your journey to looking for him, your whole life will change.
Sis, if you’re looking for a radical life change in 2023, decide this is the year you will go on a pilgrimage to find and worship Jesus! Everyday, make it your mission to look for him. Be on a quest to hunt him down and see what he’s working on in your life!
Because here’s the thing about a pilgrimage, you come back changed! This is a quest that expands your spirit and broadens your experience. This is a journey that changes how you wake up on a Monday! This is a mission that leads to a discovery of great and unsearchable things. That’s what God promises in Jeremiah 33:3 “Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.”
This is your game changer! This is your turn around. This is your moment of recognizing exactly what’s been missing in your life! You’ve needed a mission! You’ve been craving a quest. You’re ready for your pilgrimage!
Does this mean you have to go to foreign countries and do big extraordinary things?
It means you could look around in your own house, at your own family, and seek to find proof of Jesus’ grace and mercy right under your own roof!
It means you could look at all that has become so ordinary in your life, and begin seeing it as extraordinary again.
Yes, it means you continue to do more things because you GET TO, rather than you HAVE TO.
It means you could search for hidden purpose in the problem, a message in the mess, blessings in the burden, and something sacred in the struggle.
And when you find it, recognize it is Jesus! Yes, the same Jesus we just celebrated in the manger. We find him working in full power in our lives today. And when we find him, remember this is a pilgrimage to worship him!
Recognize all he has made possible in your life. Recognize all he has saved you from, the majority of which you are completely unaware of. Recognize he is radically changing your life as you are on a mission to find and worship him.
Romans 12:1 tells us true and proper worship is offering our bodies to God as a living sacrifice. What exactly does that mean? Read the scripture in the MSG translation, “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”
This is how we worship. We intentionally take everything we do and do it as an offering to God. This requires an attitude of worship. An awareness of his presence. A focus on his providence in our lives. And no doubt, this is the pilgrimage that radically changes our lives in every way.
Today, the day after we remembered the birth of Jesus, we, like the 3 wise men, set out on our pilgrimage to find and worship Jesus … and we will never be the same!