Yesterday at Linworth UMC we got to hear Rev. Gene Folden preach. Linworth has three pastors, and they all preach regularly, but Rev. Folden is my favorite. He preached about the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12), because it was Epiphany Sunday, and how they left everything to follow a star.
There have been times, since Tom and I retired, that I have felt a little like the Magi – leaving everything behind to follow a star, a dream. Tom and I have become wanderers with no set place to live or to worship. Sometimes it has been hard for us to worship, such as when we had to work every Sunday this fall and go to church in the evenings. It is easy to worship at Linworth, with the great preachers, full sanctuary, and wonderful praise band. It is harder to worship when we have to seek out a new place every week or when we feel like we are in a foreign land.
The Magi followed a star, even though they didn’t know where it would lead. They expected a king in a palace and instead, they found a baby in a humble home. They came bearing expensive gifts, which might have seemed inappropriate given the circumstances. But they followed that prickling, twinkling point of light, night after night, through one hardship after another, and found the true king, the King of Kings, even if they didn’t know he was what they were looking for.
Sometimes we do not know what we are looking for. We follow a star, a path, a map, a trail, a friend. When we find a place to worship we are sometimes unsure how to worship or what we are worshiping. But the point of light that is the Christ child can shine in any heart. The point of light that is God’s love can lead the way through any time of darkness. No matter how lost we are, if we look up and see the Star of Christmas, we can find our way home.
We take step after ordinary step, muddling through our days as best we can in this thing called living, and sometimes – sometimes – for a moment – we glimpse the Light that tugs and pulls and calls us to God. And when we do catch a glimpse of the light, we want to follow it no matter what the cost.
Where have you seen that Light? How do you follow a star?