Seeking the Light amid the darkness
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.
And we here in Epiphany also celebrate the manifestation of the Christ light, we too set off in a journey to walk towards the light of Christ and marvel at its brilliance. I don’t know about you but with the world as it is today, wandering towards the light of Christ sounds awful appealing. I long to set off like the Maggi towards the Christ light and wander into the light despite the darkness that we see in our world around us. Desmund Tutu great leader from South Africa said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite the darkness.” And it is that spirit, I think , that set the Maggi out on their journey, that what the Maggi saw in the sky that night was hope, that what compelled them forward on their journey was the possibility of something new , that amid the darkness of the night sky they saw the brilliance of one guiding star, of one flicker of light that shone brighter than all the others.
As we begin a new year, perhaps it’s a fitting reminder to set out this year amid the darkness, to seek the light. To follow those tiny flickers of hope in a hopeless world. So that we too, like the Maggi, might be able to see that there is still light, despite the darkness. Because in seeking the light, we discover the brilliance of God’s love, the brilliant light that no darkness can overcome. And there is no GPS that can show us that way, only the love we have in our hearts and the hope of our faith that sets us out on that journey across the night sky. May we, like the Maggi have the patience to be star-navigators ourselves and follow the star of our life, Christ Jesus. Because where he leads, there is unending joy for all.