Follow the Star to a Place Unexpected
I stepped out of my truck in downtown Richmond yesterday morning sometime before 6 A.M. The streets were dark and as still and quiet as they would be all day. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of a brilliant light. My eyes followed the beams into the fading night sky and found a familiar pair teamed together for what felt like a personal light show. The moon and Venus, fighting off daylight with all their might.
As I walked to my office, I continued to glimpse up at the pair. I recalled the sermon Pastor Chad blessed us with Sunday about the Magi in the story of Christmas. Thousands of years ago the Magi, he told us, also noticed a brilliant light in the sky. Only they didn't interpret the light as a personal light show, they saw it as the light that would lead them to a new king. And so they followed it. For years until the light stopped above the newborn baby Jesus.
I thought about the absurdity of that as I continued walking to the office. On a day much like mine, one filled with routine and responsibilities, these dudes dropped everything they were doing and started following a star. Not because it sounded like a cool adventure or there was a bounty to collect at the other end, but because they had been waiting on this king and they'd finally received the sign that he'd arrived. That was all the reason they needed to follow.
They found him you know. And because they did, we now have their story of giant faith. Even before that little baby had taken his first breath or threw back his first bottle of formula, the Magi were all in on following his lead. Absurd, I know.
As I walked on I could only think of one thing more absurd than their show of faith. And that was my own faith, or should I say lack of it. I thought of the number of times each day I see His star and I don't drop everything I'm doing to follow it. The star He personally radiates through the poor and the hungry and the homeless. The star I too often discount in favor of my own personal comfort.
I'm thinking the Magi, who traveled by foot and camel for years through the heated desert to find what they could only believe would be a king, would have little use for my comforts. And now that we know they found Him, that their faith was realized and the baby they found would absolutely grow to be the king of the world, and now that I walk to my office focused far more on making a living for the ones I love than the ones who desperately need my love, I'm wondering how much use that baby has for my comforts.
This Christmas season, don't miss the beauty in the light of the stars in the sky. And the Christmas season, don't miss the chance to feel the beauty in the light of the stars in the people all around you.