This past Sunday the Christian calendar marked the festival of Epiphany, when we remember the visit of the magi to the infant Jesus. They were strangers, traveling from far away in the east, following a star that led them on a journey filled with discovery, danger and and revelation. They found the place where Jesus was (with a little help from the scheming King Herod) and paid him homage and offered valuable gifts. They were warned in a dream to return by another road, for Herod’s help was his self-serving attempt to destroy the tiny baby.
Epiphany reminds us that Jesus has come for all people. Though these magi were outsiders, when they saw an amazing sign of God’s revelation, they simply had to find out more. They followed the star on an unlikely journey, and eventually, they found God here on earth. As they went home “by another road,” the magi defied a powerful and self-serving king in order to protect the vulnerable and generous king who has set aside the trappings of power to come and live among us.
The light of God’s love has come to earth. Light to the whole world, not just the powerful or the well-connected. Outsiders who are searching, or just stumble upon this incredible gift as they try and find out what that sign in the heavens is all about. May we also “see his star at its rising” and find ways to pay him homage, with love, justice, service, and compassion. May we heed dreams that warn us to make our way back by alternate routes.
This story was first told a long, long time ago. But it speaks to our lives here today.