Bible Moment – Discerning divine direction

Matthew 2:12-But being warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they returned to their own country by another route.

Take a Moment to Ponder

In the season of Lent, we are called to repentance and penitence. We are encouraged to walk in Jesus’ steps and to emulate the admirable qualities he exemplified during his life and ministry. We are called to get in closer communion with Jesus to walk our own Via Dolorosa. The Bible verse chosen this week may at first glance seem out of place as it is associated with the season of Epiphany and not Lent or even Easter our next liturgical destination. Sometimes we need something that jolts us out of our complacency with the ‘usual ways’ to stir us into introspection. The ebb and flow of the liturgical calendar and the cycles through Years A, B, or C, or Year 1 or 2 in the Daily Office while taking us through the Bible can have a comforting sameness. Taking a well-known passage and inserting it in a new place may just be that needed jolt. Repentance

Imagine in 2023 where anyone can become an influencer or expert dispensing advice on Social Media simply by racking up subscribers, likes, and shares the Wise Men diverting from their originally planned route and taking another route because of a dream! They were the Wise Men who had followed the newly appeared star to pay homage to the New King. They were being relied on by Herod to direct him to this King. However, they followed the subtle suggestion of a dream, what we could almost certainly ascribe to the voice of the Holy Spirit telling them how to protect Our Saviour who at that time needed succour and protection.

Imagine if the Wise Men had not yielded to the warning in the dream. Would there have been the life and ministry of Jesus? Would we have a Lent to prepare for the gift of Easter? How many of us could have suppressed our own voice, our own thoughts, to have followed the advice of a dream which was really the ever-present, ever-watchful Holy Spirit?

Take Action

This Lent let us commit to hearing and heeding the voice of the Holy Spirit that is present with us every day.

  1. Take a time-out and find time for quiet reflection. Start by just being still and moving to reflecting in a meditative and contemplative way. Record your thoughts afterward.
  2. Make time to pray deliberately and intentionally each day.
  3. Ask God as you pause and pray in the stillness what you can remove from your life in order to move you closer to God’s divine direction. In Lent, we are called to “repent.” One of its literal meanings is to turn around. When you repent, you stop heading in one direction and return to God and His path for you.
  4.  Ask God where is He calling you to go. The world today promotes a culture of accumulation, wealth, and selfishness. The voices tell you “Get all you can! It’s all about you.” Our God wants us to live in community and be our brother’s keeper pray so that you can discern God’s call for your life at its present stage.

A Moment in Prayer

Dear Lord, our story is not over. It is not too late to change the story we have to tell. We have more of your goodness to experience. Heavenly Father, we trust You as the author, finisher, and the one whose words are a lamp to our feet. Enter our hearts and direct us in our coming and going. Help us to trust you implicitly. Strengthen us to give our lives to your service and connect people to you through the sharing of your word and grace. We acknowledge your presence in our lives and know that when life’s storms come we will remain unshakeable as you are with us. Thank You for being with us, guiding our steps, and giving us divine direction. Amen.

Contributed by Sister Thera Edwards