This week the texts beckon to us from a dark time of captivity and exile when there was a vision for a bright future for God’s people, to the Magi from the East searching and finding that hope in the Christ child with Mary, his mother. These stories continue to provide us with fresh nuggets that draw us closer to understanding how God’s light is still being revealed in our lives and communities.
Our world is scarred by human suffering, conflict and violence. Yet in the midst of oppression, poverty and broken-ness, birds still sing. Refugee families are being welcomed in many communities in Europe, Canada and here in the USA. Concrete efforts are being made by many countries to combat climate change, and the cooing of a baby still brings joy. In these ways, God’s light still shines in our darkened world and still brings hope!
Has it ever occurred to you that despite following the light of the star, it took a whole cast of characters (some quite unsavory) to direct the Magi to the Christ child?
The Magi followed the star until they got to the notorious King Herod. Still searching for the child, they sought Herod’s assistance. Herod in turn sought the assistance of the chief priests and scribes to find where the Scriptures said the Christ child was to be born. With the additional information, the Magi journeyed on alone, following the star until it stopped over the place where the child was.
Do you ever wonder why no one joined them? Fear, laziness or unbelief? The Scriptures aren’t explicit, but how many times do we stay behind rather than participate in what God is calling us to do in our world?
Like the Magi, we must seek the Christ child’s presence in our lived experiences, not being afraid to explore and embrace the new things God is birthing among us in the signs of creation, on the streets with the poor, on the shore with refugees, and even among family and friends.
– Rev. Rowena Kemp, SCNY Associate
A 1991 graduate of the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Rowena currently ministers as Assistant Rector at Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green, New Haven, CT.