Finding our way to Jesus

Pastoral Messages | January 6, 2022

It’s January 6th, the festival of Epiphany. Around the world, Christians remember the day the wise men were led by a star to find Jesus. For many, this is the day when gifts are exchanged and big family gatherings happen. It’s a kind of capstone of the celebrations around Jesus’ birth. So today, a blessed Epiphany to you!

When I was growing up we had a little wooden nativity set, not a fancy one at all, but made for playing. It was our favorite toy throughout December. We’d regularly rearrange the characters. My brother would always hide the baby Jesus, and on Christmas Eve I would have to search the house to find him (the baby Jesus, not my brother).

And then there were the Wise Men. They always started on the eastern-most windowsill of the house. Throughout Advent and the Christmas season we would slowly move them through the house, across bookshelves, along floorboards, closer and closer to the other characters. Finally, on Epiphany, January 6th, the Wise Men would arrive and complete the crèche scene.

We are all of us like those Wise Men (the real ones and the wooden ones). We spend our whole lives finding our way to Jesus. Sometimes it’s a clear and easy path, other times it’s a long and meandering one, across deserts or down long hallways. Faith is a kind of journey, daily keeping an eye on the star, daily opening our hearts to Jesus, daily becoming as loving as we can. We don’t always know where we’ll end up. But we can pay attention to the ways that God is leading us, look for the star, and journey faithfully and expectantly forward.

It’s the time of year when many of us are making resolutions or looking at the twelve months ahead with intention and planning. But whether you are a person who makes resolutions or not, the promise of this Epiphany season is that God will continue to show up in our lives, maybe not with direction-giving stars, but with moments of clarity, bits of delight, people who surprise us with kindness, opportunities to be generous. And these are God’s breadcrumb trail to guide us as we make our way through this journey, following the start.

Our Epiphanies might not be huge or life-altering – but they do guide us along the way, nourishing us for the journey, and reminding us that we don’t go alone. I pray that God continues to shine brightly on your path as you follow those Wise Men on this lifelong journey of seeking Jesus, our Savior, Immanuel, who has already found us.

-Sara Olson-Smith, associate pastor

8 Comments on “Finding our way to Jesus”

  • Fred Quam

    January 8, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    Great story. Can relate to some of it. Katy’s grandpa

  • Suzy Schindler

    January 7, 2022 at 7:19 am

    What a poignant memory with a warm message on a bitter cold day. Thank you Pastor Sara.


    January 7, 2022 at 6:26 am

    Love this! What a wonderful childhood memory. Thanks for sharing.

  • Bonnie Fox

    January 6, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Thank you for your on target messages. After reading your message in the Journey, I was reminded of the positive aspects of winter.: The opportunities forGod to renew and restore us”.

  • Patty Johannesen

    January 6, 2022 at 3:30 pm

    Pastor Sarah,

    Thank you for such a beautiful description of the Epiphany

    Yes, God is always with us.

  • Janette Schmidt

    January 6, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    Love this post!

  • Joan Bruce

    January 6, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    Pastor Sara, What a beautiful childhood tradition and an equally heartfelt message reminding us that God is always with us. Also, your message in The Journey of this season being a time to take things slower and to contemplate God’s love, blessings, and strength spoke to me. Thank you..

  • Georgeann Kreiter

    January 6, 2022 at 2:21 pm

    I love the nativity tradition you’ve told us about. Wish I’d have thought of that with our own children and grandchildren ! I’ll try to pass this along for all to possibly use with future children.

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