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Pastor viewpoint: Searching takes time, but is worth it

By Pastor Ladd Sonnenberg, Bethel Lutheran Church

Have you ever looked for something and felt so frustrated about not finding it that you just gave up your search? A few days ago my oldest son Ethan was looking for a Lego so that He could finish building his Star Wars creation. As I sat there helping him look for the Lego, he said to me,

"That's okay. I will just go without it." I told him that if he didn't find the missing piece, he wouldn't be able to make the Star Wars robot. Since every piece is important, he couldn't disregard one and still reach his goal. Well, he kept looking and finally found the missing piece.

For those who may be wondering, the missing piece was in a pile of other Legos just an arms length away.

This January, many churches are also in a period of searching, or a season known as Epiphany. The most popular story of this season is from Matthew 2 about the Magi who traveled far from the east in search of the coming Messiah. Unlike my son who had to only move a few feet to find his missing Lego piece, the Magi might have traveled up to two years in search of the

Messiah while carrying all of their provisions. Dangerous terrains and uncertainty of whether they would ever find the prophesied king further complicated their journey. Yet the Magi did not give up, and to their amazement, instead of an earthly king, they found the Messiah in a humble setting with common, low class parents: a carpenter and a young girl. In their journey, the Magi found Emmanuel, God with us and for all of us, not just the wealthy or affluent but also the lowly and poor. They found that God does not just use the wise to do great things, but the common person to do the unthinkable like birth and mother the Christ child.

So what does this have to do with you and me? Well, simply put: everything. Because like the Magi we too are on a journey to find how the living God is active today in our lives and the world. While facing disheartening headlines, wouldn't it be nice to see and hear Good News about how God is at work bringing hope where there is despair, comfort during pain, or resolution to discord? Wouldn't it even be better to be the person who tells others where or how you found God active in our world?

As the Magi and my son figured out, searching takes time, but it's worth the commitment when you find what you are looking for.