SERMON TITLE: “Forgiveness: Dealing with Danger”
SERMON TEXT: Matthew 2:13-23
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: January 3, 2021, at First UMC
By now, most of us have put away our Christmas decorations, hung up our 2021 calendars, and are ready to move forward into the New Year. But, according to the traditional church calendar, we’re still in the twelve days of Christmas until January 6th. That Day of Epiphany is the traditional day for remembering the wise men who brought their gifts and came to worship Jesus.
The Bible doesn’t spell out all the details of the wise men’s journey, but we can assume their trip was long and arduous. No doubt, they encountered some complications with the weather, and maybe some wild beasts or roadside bandits. We can guess that they might have had some trouble finding water and food for their camels. Maybe they had to overcome travelers’ diarrhea or saddle sores. The Bible story tells us that they had to stop and ask for directions, and we all know how lost a man has to be to do that—right, guys?! Then, after they found their way to Jesus, they were warned in a dream not to return to King Herod, for he was the greatest danger of all.
As I indicated last Sunday, I’m dedicating the first five weeks of this New Year to the topic of forgiveness. As we cross over from one year to the next, this is a good time to let go of old baggage and start fresh. As Christians, we know that the Bible tells us we’re supposed to forgive. But forgiveness isn’t always easy. There are lots of complications. So, I’m going to be exploring some of those hindrances and challenges in the upcoming weeks. Today, I want to begin with the complicating factor of safety and risk. How should we think about forgiveness when we’re dealing with danger?