Crossroads: Star GPS

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Matthew 2:1-12

Your Story

Talk about a time when you didn’t know where you were going and you had to follow someone or something like your GPS. Did the person (or thing) you were following get you there okay? Did you get lost? What was it like trusting someone or something else to know where you were going?

My Story and the Bible Story

Most of us take our phones for granted. We trust that Google Maps or Waze or whatever map app we use will get us safely to our destination. We put the address in and set off. And sometimes traffic happens or there’s a detour, but for the most part, our map apps get us where we are going, even when we aren’t sure how to get there. One Thanksgiving, I was heading home to Macon. I left on Tuesday night with my cat Lucy. It was a trip I’d made many times before, but I still used Google Maps just in case there was traffic. And sure enough, there was a ton of traffic. So Google Maps took us off the interstate, into unfamiliar territory. I drove down dark backroads and had no idea where I was going. I slowed down when I saw eyes in the bushes on the side of the road (I think it was a raccoon). I started to worry about where I was going, but Google Maps continued with its directions: go straight, turn right here, and eventually it took me back to the interstate, having navigated me past the heavy, time-consuming traffic. I made it safely to Macon, and I thanked Google Maps for getting me there. It was hard to trust that it knew where it was going when I was on those dark backroads, but it got me where I wanted to go.

Thousands of years ago, Magi from the East used what may have been the first GPS to find the Christ child: a star. And they didn’t just follow that star for an hour or two. They followed that star for a long, long time. Maybe years. It would have been easy for them to change their minds, decide the journey was too scary or long or unfamiliar, and turn around. After all, they weren’t sure where they were going or how long it would take. They didn’t know what would happen on the way. And yet, they trusted God. They trusted that the star in the sky was important and that it would lead the way. And finally, finally, they arrived. They saw the Christ child and they rejoiced, because they had found the Savior. The first GPS didn’t let them down; it showed them the way.

It can be hard to trust when we don’t know where we are going. We may want to turn back or try to find a different way on our own. It can be hard to trust that God knows where we’re going when God asks us to do something that doesn’t make much sense. But if we trust God, if we follow where God tells us to go, like the Magi so long ago, then we won’t be disappointed. God won’t lead us in the wrong direction. God knows where we should go. It won’t always be easy, but God will always be with us. We can trust God. Sometimes our map apps let us down. Sometimes they can’t find our location or get us stuck in traffic. Sometimes there’s a glitch and they stop working. But we can trust that God will never let us down. God will always be with us, guiding us. And if we listen to God, God will show us the way to go.

Discussion and Prayer

• Talk about how God has led your family. (You might also talk about how God led your parents/grandparents, etc. if that is relevant for your family.)
• Talk about times in which you had to trust that God would show you what to do.
• Ask your children to talk about times when they followed God even when they weren’t quite sure what God was doing.

Pray, asking God to help each member of your family trust God. Ask God for help in knowing what to do and where to go.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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