Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12 (AMP)
You’re a renowned scholar of your time, a respected expert in astrological sciences, and in general, a maestro of subject matter.
With a mind geared towards the aerial, your intellect hits new light: A star, one you’ve never seen before far outside your scope. Your natural inclination is to pause and ponder. Could this be a confluence of planets, a comet, perhaps a supernova kissing our celestial cul-de-sac? Or is this an illusion, a unicorn moment too good to be true?
Whatever the case, there are no analogs. Whatever you’ve seen, whatever you’ve heard…for once it’s not good enough. And thus, a fire rages within to crack the mystery. but even more so to discern this urge to do something radical, something crazy.
The fork ever widening, you roll the dice and take the risk. Seeking out this angelic beam, you’re now on a camelback quest with your comrades. Advancing into unchartered territory, you quickly realize this isn’t Kansas anymore and your directions aren’t so simple as second star from the right and straight on ’til morning. Your convenient, carpeted life…now subject to the Euphrates and a Royal Road to true royalty.
Like a pre-disciple, you’ve said goodbye to home, not entirely sure if you’ll return. Risking it all to lay it all down, the gifts you bear are years from delivery but capture the source of your faith.
You’re going west, young man…with words of gratitude close at heart yet from far from optional. For this cryptic star, the one you’ll regard as of David, had once shined on a child in manger lay. The illuminating origin of eternal freedom the same origin as that still small voice compelling you to follow confidently.
But though the trek is long and arduous, despite future uncertainty, you embrace the joy set before you as a constant rising and a call to worship. One way or another, you will complete this crusade and discover a new depth of truth you never thought possible.
A once foreign light illuminating a stable place, now an inspiration for yours to walk from.
Fast-forward to present day and you are where you are. What a ride it’s been…
Unlike many, you may believe you have something to offer outside your realm of expertise, something to contribute outside your wheelhouse of benevolence. You may have that itch inside wanting to pour out in a fresh way – your modern-day equivalent of frankincense or myrrh on standby.
However, like many, you may be waiting for a catalyst to surrender and sacrifice when in reality, the time is now to sojourn into deeper waters, to try a new course. Granted, I can only speak so far into anonymous situations. Yet, I know for me, as one who anticipates burning bushes that never come, I must be ready to render those focuses off-center and recognize the Spirit as “star power” capable of illuminating the way I’m to go.
Which brings me to my point for today: You may feel depleted and broken, perplexed and confused; you may be overwhelmed or overthinking.
Yet, regardless of your circumstances, if your 3:00 am restroom break is on the verge of turning into a brutally early wakeup call, guess what! That same star of wonder, the same star of night…is still alive and well today to guide you into whatever perfect light you need to walk in.
You see…for the magi, they lived for this. Even as they (literally) contemplated their next steps from illumination, the timely cost of multiple years and the emotional cost of social and occupational inconveniences didn’t deter them from making one of the most epic expeditions in the Roman era. Put another way, before the wise men could fathom the historical repercussions of their Messianic voyage, they had to first contest the ramifications of their surrender; hence, why as brilliant as they were, their greatest asset was not their wealth of knowledge and resources, but a corporate humility to recognize eternal prominence.
And in the hustle and bustle of the holidays upon us, that’s why I’m writing this – to implore holy inventory and discourage whatever annual defaults we’ve accepted to justify idleness and self-preservation. I can’t make sense of the pain my family and I feel right now. I can’t make sense of the pain you likewise may feel as we close out the year.
But for all I don’t know, what I do know is basic spiritual probability. Specifically, if my attention isn’t anchored to holy light, then chances are my call to mobility and a humble returning will be compromised.
Yes, I miss Juby, the times life felt more stable, even the opportunities I could have been truer to my faith. Yet, amidst the chaos, I remember that stable place 2,000 years ago and those who released their inhibitions to adore what matters most in all eternity. For all of us, may this truth be the centerpiece of any Christmas stirring as we approach 2023.
Cover graphic creds: Wallpaper Cave