In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
“And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.” ’
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.’ When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure-chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road. -Matthew 2:1-12 (NRSV)
At a recent North Branch RCC event, Ruth Cole Burcaw, BCM Executive Director, led a Spiritual Types workshop designed to better understand how you relate to God, others and the world. I found myself in a small group identified as pilgrims. Our discussion led us to name our experience of faith as journey.
The Gospel according to Matthew offers a glimpse into the events that we celebrate on and around Epiphany –starry light, mysterious visitors from afar, the fear of a powerful king, radical discovery and the presence of a holy child with his mother.
And imagine all these events, these manifestations, happening on the way, by the way, on the journey. Those seeking Jesus, the presence of the Incarnate One, find him as they follow great light.
I rather enjoy an image offered by our Quaker friends-that each woman, man and child has a spark of the Divine-an Inner Light- within. I find myself holding this imagery as I ponder the journey of the Magi. To be sure, there are moments we experience the presence of God as if there is a bright and miraculous light leading us exactly where we are to go. And, there are moments we trust the inner light of Christ within to show us the way, to enter into the presence of the one who makes all things new.
May the journey of the Magi invite us to seek out the presence of God in the miraculous and the ordinary, from without and from within.
And may we all be made anew.
Moravian Board of Cooperative Ministries