January 6 , 2008
An epiphany from God is not predictable and routine, but disrupting,
unsettling, telling us:
Life as you know it is never going to be the same again.
Many of you have a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) in your cars. They are
so amazing that road maps may go the way of eight track tapes.
My understanding is that one types in the street address of your
destination. The calculation and connection is made with a satellite and
the exact route is flashed on the screen, and a robotic voice (you can
choose a male or female voice) informs you when to turn. Even if you miss
your turn, the route can be recalculated, and you’re back on track.
Wow! I really could have benefited from a Global Positioning Satellite in
my first couple of appointments. Out there in the country directions were
more like: “Pastor, if you want to get to George’s house, why you turn left
by the big pine tree that got hit by lightning last year, go straight until
you cross that little creek down the road, then turn left where Ralph and
Mazie had that wreck a while back.”
GPS wasn’t available to me in the 1970’s, nor was it being sold in Persia in
the first century. All the Magi had was the tried and true celestial
heavens for guidance.
Of course we know that by the time we see a star’s light, it is thousands
and thousands of years old. We can deduce that the Magi followed the
movement of the star in the sky until they decided to stop at Herod’s house
and ask for directions.
Imagine their eyes lighting up when the scribes around Herod informed them
of the ancient prophecies of the Messiah being born in Bethlehem.
The question begs to be asked: Why didn’t these scribes and priests follow
the magi to Bethlehem and see this wonderful event?
God is still in the business of giving discernment to those who would look
Today we begin the season of Epiphany. As the magi followed the light of
Bethlehem’s star to the manger, it is a time for us to reflect on the coming
of light to the whole world in Jesus Christ.
May Epiphany find in us the spirit of the Magi who sought, instead of Herod’
s scribes and priests, who stayed put and missed this great revelation.