After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Matthew 2: 1-2
The Magi, or the wise men as we often call them, travelled for miles to visit the baby Jesus all because they saw a star. These were men who studied the stars and when they saw a new star they knew that something truly special was happening. So special, that they felt compelled to make a long, perilous journey all without knowing exactly what they were going to find at the end of it.
We are all on a journey in our lives but how many of us have seen a sign so special that we have dropped all we are doing and gone after it with everything we have? When was the last time we saw a sign in the heavens? You might think that something like that could never happen to you. But what if there is a sign for us but we are not looking for it, or seeing it in the right way? We must remember that the wise men were astronomers: they were star experts! When a new star appears for an astronomer, they notice and they do something about it whereas other may not even notice its appearance! That sign fit them. But what if they had missed it?
I wasn’t looking for a long time. I have always been interested in the Bible, I volunteered to work in Canterbury Cathedral and I even thought I would go on to be a lecturer in theology – all without realising that perhaps God was trying to tell me something! All it took for me was to go to a church service for the first time and like that star appearing to the wise men – BOOM! – I believed and I had to do something about it!
It’s different for everybody. God is with us all in our lives, in our experiences. What is right for one person isn’t necessarily right for another. We might think that since we have not experienced something as dramatic as the wise men, why should we look for God? But God doesn’t just speak to certain people. It is important that the wise men were from a far off land – they were not Jews. The Jews believed that the Messiah was only coming for them – but some of the first people at the crib of Jesus were foreigners, people that the Jews would have excluded. Jesus is for everyone: in quiet ways, in loud ways, in good times and in bad. Nobody is unworthy, everyone is welcome. A simple word from a friend, a scene in a film, or hearing a verse from scripture could be the blazing star for you.
We are all on a journey and we can have hope like the wise men did that at the end, under our own individual stars, there is a Lord who will meet us face to face one day. Our Lord loves us and wants to show us what true life is like and whilst he will be there at the end of the journey, the miracle of our Lord is that he is with us every step of the way, if only we look for him.
Danny is a ‘vocational discerner’ in the Diocese of Chichester who will be finding out if he is to be recommended to train to be a priest in January. He volunteers with Soul by the Sea, a charity that produce scripture-based drama performances and writes plays himself. He is also quite chuffed that he has been promoted from ‘Shepherd Number 2’ to ‘Narrator’ in his church’s upcoming Nativity Carol Service.
Just as the Magi went to a new place and found God in the manger, today’s share challenges you to go on a mini-journey. Why don’t you try going to a place you have never been before, and seeing if you can find God there? God might be a word, a picture or a feeling. You might like to ask God to show you the way on your journey and look for the answer there. Just be ready to receive that answer – it might come in a way you had never expected!
Share your mini-journey on Facebook or Twitter, you never know, it may well be a sign for someone else!