“They left for their own country by another road” (Mt 2:12)
Beyond the familiar routes of separation to God’s new paths
Readings for Day 8 of Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
We do not know what the wise men thought - they who were experts in astronomy and navigation - when they were warned to return by another road. They may well have been very confused, but the same light that illumined their journey showed them that there was another road, another possibility. They were called to change direction.
We often find ourselves bound by our familiar ways of doing things and of seeing the world. When these ways or ‘roads’ are closed, we wonder how to proceed and continue the journey. God’s divine providence is always there to show us that there is another way prepared for us. God is there to renew His covenant and lift us up from the frustration we experience when we meet an obstacle. We only have to trust that the everlasting One who gave us the light, can always find a way forward when our ways and paths are blocked. A fresh start is always possible when we are willing and open to the work of the Spirit. As churches we look to the past and find illumination, and we look to the future in search of new ways so that we can continue to shine the light of the Gospel with renewed fervor and welcome each other as Christ welcomed us for the glory of God.
On the old familiar roads Christian communities have walked apart from one another. On the new roads to which God calls us, Christians walk together and become pilgrim companions. Finding these new roads demands discernment, humility and courage. Now is the time for conversion and reconciliation.
Gracious God, when we only know one way and we think we must return to it, and when we think that all roads are blocked, and we fall into despair, we always find you there. You are the God of renewed promises. We find you creating a new path before us, one that we did not expect. We thank you because you exceed our expectations. We thank you for your wisdom that surpasses our understanding. We thank you because your creative paths open up unforeseen possibilities. If we search our maps and find no route, nonetheless we always find you, who lead us by a yet more excellent way. We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, that you will always lead us back to you. Amen.