SERMON TITLE: “Decisions for the Journey”
SERMON TEXT: Matthew 2:1-23
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: December 29, 2019, at First UMC
The Christmas-to-New Year holidays are a big travel time for Americans. In anticipation of the holiday rush, AAA predicted that “a record 115.6 million Americans” would “hit the roads, skies, and rails” from December 21 to January first. AAA indicated that “travelers should be getting used to crowded highways and airports, as this marks the eighth straight year of new record-high travel volumes for the year-end holidays.” Even when congestion, winter hazards, and work and family dynamics complicate our travel, it seems that many Americans still make decisions for the journey.
I guess it makes sense that so many Americans travel at Christmas, when you recall the original Christmas some 2000 years ago. The Gospel according to Luke tells us that Emperor Augustus made a decree about a census that forced Mary, at the most difficult time of her pregnancy, to travel with Joseph to his ancestral village of Bethlehem. And the Gospel according to Matthew, which we’ve read today, tells about the travels of the wise men and the frightening journey of the holy family into Egypt and back.
Whether we’re traveling a geographical distance, or whether our journey is some other kind of life transition, maybe we can learn something from those original Christmas travelers. Let’s consider today’s stories from Matthew chapter two and see how they might inform our own decisions for the journey.