Following a Star into a New Year

Are you as curious as these ancient astronomers to search for God by following whatever star God has placed on your horizon?  Are you passionate enough to take up a journey of faith this year that will move and change you?  Will keep your heart and mind open enough to let God lead you to the truth of Christ’s presence in the world?

The star of Bethlehem did not lead directly to Christ; it stopped first at the place where those interpret it.  The Jews that Herod called for consultation knew Hebrew Scriptures.  The Bible is a telescope that allows us to see our star for what it is—a pointer to Christ.  The church is where you can come to get your bearings on what scriptures says about the star you are following.  We do not know everything because the scripture does not tell all, any more than the stars do.  Here we get closer to God.  Thus, the church is where you should resolve to spend your Sundays this year—among others who are looking for Jesus and have a sense of where God is to be found.

When the star stops and you sense God’s presence in the world and in your life, what then?  Well, let joy overwhelm you.  Jesus is the fulfillment of your search and the one that sends you out searching for others who are searching for him, too.  Let yourself feel the gift of joy, God’s gift to those who seek. This is what the magi felt, and it is not irreverent to be brimming with it as a Christian.  No faraway Persian or nearby pagan will long for a Christ that seems to produce dour disciples.

Next joy will lead you to give gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh—costly things given to the poor Christ child.  In the same way, if you resolve to follow that star this year, you need to open your pocketbook along with the Holy Book.  You need to give to all those who are in the vulnerable places Christ would still be found.  The most reasonable response is to invest ourselves in offering gift that relieves the suffering.  What people need most from religious people is not pious explanations, but a luminous church on earth that leads them people to the Christ.  Our gifts are signs that point to Christ.

When the magi left Bethlehem, Matthew says they went home another way.  I suspect they went a different way not only to avoid Herod and protect the Christ child, but also because they themselves were different.  They were not just retracing their steps back to home. They were blazing a new trail, making a new way of life.  Will the same thing be true for you this year?

Published in: on December 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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