Following the Star
O Star of Wonder, Star of Night, Star with royal beauty bright; westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to thy perfect light!
John Henry Hopkins, Jr. in “We Three Kings” (1857)
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him.”
When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and everyone in Jerusalem was troubled with him. He gathered all the chief priests and the legal experts and asked them where the Christ was to be born. They said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote:
You, Bethlehem, land of Judah, by no means are you least among the rulers of Judah, because from you will come one who governs, who will shepherd my people Israel.”
In the birth of Jesus, God revealed Godself in a unique way… by taking on our flesh. It’s clear that some wise sages had their eyes raised to the heavens and noticed something new. They went in search of this newborn king at first in the most likely people and places, at the court of the king.
But to their surprise, they were directed to the least likely of places, Bethlehem. And that’s where they found the one they were looking for.
Are your eyes open and looking for signs of God’s presence around you? Are you looking in the usual places or are you open to find God present in the most unlikely of people and places?
God who became one of us, help me to keep looking for signs of Jesus present in the most unlikely of places and to give thanks when I perceive Jesus present!
Christ the Son be manifest in you, that your life may be a light to the world!
from A New Zealand Prayer Book (The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia)