During the Advent season this year our family has been doing some daily readings that basically retell the Christmas story. Today's reading was about the star that the wise men saw. I thought about this star and about those wise guys all morning while ironing, making beds, and washing floors. I had thoughts that I had never had before about what all this might mean. (I love time spent inside my brain!! Oh, for the love of manual labor!!))
I also love looking at the stars on a moonless, clear night. I don't believe that stars are random or placed in the sky without thought. I was recently in El Salvador and the stars looked different than the ones I see at home. The planet Venus was featured in the southern sky, bright and beautiful. Back in Canada, Orion, my long time favorite constellation has come to grace the winter nights. That light travels thousands of miles and I can see it with my naked-eye shining in the sky, leaves me speechless.
The wise men that the Bible talks about were star watchers too. The heavens, in all of their splendor, spoke volumes to them. The stars were telling a story of a baby King that would be born in Israel. One star in particular shouted his arrival. These wise men listened and responded to what they saw clearly written in the sky. Their response was to gather some gifts befitting a king and to begin a trek into an unknown land not knowing what lay ahead.
The questions that arose in my mind were: What did the wise men see in the sky? How did they know that the star heralded the birth of a King? Why would God reveal to these men, not likely Jewish, not likely sharing the same race, customs or religion, the birth of His Son? Why did they feel the urge to seek Him? What prompted that seeking?
I came up empty in terms of any solid answers, but my questions did lead to other thoughts... Is the night sky still telling the story of Jesus? Does God use those we may consider on the 'outside' to show us, who think we have a firm grasp of 'the Truth', what joyful worship and seeking truly means? How did the wise men's encounter with a little baby change their lives? Does God want us to seek him and give him gifts instead of waiting for him to show up when we ask? Is faith, is Jesus, available to anyone who would acknowledge him as King?
I am learning more and more that answers are not necessarily faith. Questions leave me with greater awe, greater faith. I love that God is so interesting, not cookie-cutter, not rigid in His creativity, not bound by my finite thinking. I look forward to this Christmas and the astounding, mind-blowing, heart-shattering gift of Christ that is for everyone.
I plan to seek.
I plan to bring Him gifts.
I plan to worship the King.