Did you know today’s the day… the day we celebrate the arrival of those wise men to the cradleside of Jesus? The day that Jesus showed himself to us outsiders, we who are the Gentiles.
Epiphany… that’s what we call it, this January 6 day, 12 days after Christmas where we remember the coming of the Magi.
And these three outsiders… wise men from other lands with many other things that could have occupied their time… they were indeed wise because they took the time to notice.
They were watchers of the heavens and they noticed that something was different, something was new and brilliant in the night sky that they had never seen before. They noticed it, the star, and they left their palaces and comforts, their plans for their days and weeks and months and they traveled… long, hard days they traveled from the east. They traveled, their eyes set on that star that they had taken the time to notice.
Who knows how long they sat on those camels and camped in the cold. Just read T.S Elliot’s poem Journey of the Magi and you realize this was no joyride journey. But slowly these wise men made their way, following that new and different, brilliant star.
And you know what? They didn’t make it for Christmas, they were late for the big event, but they came! They showed up, late and all, and became the first gentiles, the first outsiders, to see the Christ child!
It doesn’t really matter when you get there, all that matters is that you come, that you show up!
I don’t know about you, but I find the New Year overwhelming in many ways… so much pressure to set these grand plans and goals for life… a fresh start for sure, but more and more I find myself beginning each year already feeling behind and worn out.
So I feel reassured by the Magi and their journey… they weren’t on time, they were definitely worn out by the time they got there, but their focus was fixed on the one thing that matters, seeing the special child for whom the star was shining so brightly.
Maybe the only goal one needs for the New Year is to take the time to notice and in the noticing our focus becomes set on the one that matters… Jesus.
Maybe all we need for a New Years Resolution is to take our cue from those wise men, and just show up no matter what state we are in when we come.
Maybe if we take our cue from those wise men, each day simply becomes about coming to him as I am, whether I accomplished my to do list or not, whether I am behind schedule or sailing through with time to spare.
Simply notice and come!
The Magi, those wise, noticing men, remind me of a song… a song that seems to describe what they were doing in their journey… “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”
The Magi left all the things of earth they valued to follow after the star that led them to fix their eyes on the Light, Jesus.
The Magi’s journey helps put things into perspective… all that matters is Jesus. Somehow, in the noticing and coming to him, even if we feel late and worn out, he promises the abundance we seem to lack.
All that is needed for the New Year, for every year, for each and every day is that we come, that we seek Jesus… God will provide the rest… a Savior who is Christ the Lord!