At morning report this AM, I was about to share a thought about the Magi.  Instead, I ended up standing in a pool of sewer water.  As we were working to clean up the mess, the Magi came back to mind.

The Magi asked a reasonable question when they arrived in Jerusalem: “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews?  We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:2)

What response did they receive from Herod and his court?

Sewer water.

“Go to Bethlehem and find this child-king and report back to me so that I may go and worship him.” (Mt 2:8)  Herod answered the Magi with dastardly, despicable deception. 

Sewer water.

I didn’t plan on spending my day in Stink City and neither did the Magi.  But…

…that’s what happens when we are called to mess with the world. 

The Magi journey to faith was no picnic: months of sweaty travel in the sand, fending off desert heat and barbaric Berbers.  They finally reached a civilized city, Jerusalem, only to be welcomed by a disturbed and murderous tyrant.

Our journey of faith is no picnic.  When I saw the muck and filth that the ‘plumbing snake’ yanked from our clinic pipes, I realized that our pretty building was standing over a stinking sewer pit.  So is every building in Harlingen, including my house.  We cover the stench, but it is there, nonetheless. 

Our pipes need cleaning. 

My spiritual pipes need a good cleaning…every day.  “Come near to God and He will come near to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Grieve, mourn, and wail.  Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:8-10)  I have never liked these verses, but the sewer water adventure gave me a new insight into my life.  I want to be clean, O Father, how I long to be clean!  My spirit cries out!  “Away from me Lord, for I am a great sinner full of stink and stench.”

The Father responds by sending the Beautiful Morning Star (rev 22:16) to guide us and “coming to the house, they saw Him and bowed down and worshipped Him.  They opened their treasures before Him…” (Mt 2:11) 

O the great, great love of the Spirit who opens my eyes to my daily need for a good cleansing.  O the great, great love of the Savior who washes my sewer water away with His blood.  O the great, great love of the Father, who welcomes me into His presence.

Now, we’re ready to celebrate “God with Us!”