…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. Matthew 2:9b
Today, January 6th, is always the Day of Epiphany on the church calendar. Epiphany is the celebration of the arrival of the ‘wise men’ or Magi, who traveled long distances to greet the Christ child. The word Epiphany can mean a sudden, striking understanding of something, and comes from the Greek word meaning ‘appearance,’ or ‘coming to the light.’
The story of the Magi following that light in the sky for what might have been a couple of years, is a powerful witness to God’s commitment to reach all the world with the good news of God’s inclusive, redeeming love made visible in the Christ child. It is also a fascinating story that is filled with wonder.
We don’t know a lot about this star or light that the Magi followed, but the story makes me wonder about light in the darkness. A light, no matter how small, is always stronger than darkness, and the darker the room or the sky, the brighter the light appears.
There are certainly times when we could use a light or a star to shine in some darkness in our lives or to be offered a light that acts as a guide or glimmer of hope. And like any light shining in darkness, it usually doesn’t take much. The light in our darkness might be a helping hand or a kind word from someone else; the light might be a note or phone call or e-mail that comes to us from someone unexpectedly; or it might be an invitation or a deed of kindness that comes as light in our darkness.
In a devotion I read recently, author Teri Peterson writes, “…I wonder…if we might be the star? We, the community of God’s people, the body of Christ, the gathering of those who have heard the calling. Could we be the star, the candle that gives off even a feeble light, a sign that shows the way? Are we a symbol of hope for another?”
This week, may we find ways to wonder and then find ways to be a light that becomes hope made visible in another’s darkness.