Faith or Something Like It

I adore stars. That is, the twinkling, up in the sky, can only be seen at night kind of stars (although I definitely overly-adore celebrity stars, too). The way-up-in-the-heavens stars fascinate me. How'd they each get to their own perfect spot? Are there planets around some of those stars? The universe is so big, and stars are a brilliant reminder of how wide the cosmos stretches.

Epiphany was celebrated this week (actually on Wednesday, January 6th). Epiphany is a celebration of the fact that God came to earth for all people. A Bible story that is often read for Epiphany - that highlights God's inclusive tendencies, is from Matthew 2:1-12. It's the story of the wise men coming from the East to find the "King of the Jews." The wise men first stop in Jerusalem. They chat it up with King Herod. When King Herod finds out that they're looking for a child-king, he freaks out. Dear King Herod is totally uninterested in sharing his kingship. He pretends to be excited about this little king and sends the wise men on in search of him. Herod wants them to come back and give him the scoop once they've found the child so he can take matters into his own intimidated-by-a-little-kid-from-Bethlehem hands.

The wise men didn't have a GPS system to plug into their camels. In fact, they didn't even have Mapquest. They also didn't have the address of their destination. Instead, they had a star. A single star led them all the way from the "East" to Jerusalem to Bethlehem. When the wise men see that the star has stopped, they are "overwhelmed with joy." Then, they head into the house and find Jesus. They really had no idea what to expect. They were foreigner, non-Jewish astronomers who traveled a super long distance in search of something they didn't even understand. Isn't that amazing? God reveals this star to them and they follow it!

Looking up at the beauty of the stars leaves me speechless. It simultaneously reminds me that life is both huge and tiny. The same God who created all of infinity cares about every individual star and every individual person.

There are modern day stars that lead us along the path of life. Our journey is long - with ups and downs - just like the journey of the wise men. So we need encouragement along the way. We are strengthened by the light that comes through friends, family members, books, small groups, delicious coffee drinks, and amazing films.

What are the stars that have led you so far in 2010? Here are a few of mine: a grouchy 80-something year old, chocolate pudding, photography, my family, and candlelight. Your turn; please share a few of your stars. I hope your weekend is filled with shining light and laughter.

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever seen the show The Universe that runs on the History Channel? Lots of awe-inspiring info about some mind-boggling stuff.

    And my star for 2010? Has been snow, of all things. Having fun playing in it with my kids has given me renewed appreciation for being a stay-at-home mom.