In the gospel of Matthew we are told of astrologers from the “east” making their way to Jesus guided by a star. This is a way of conveying that Jesus is of importance not only to one tribe or one religion or one place but that he is of importance to all of the world. The story of the magi also brings to the fore the political dimensions of the birth of Jesus. Jesus is a figure to recognized by all of the world. Hm. At that time, this kind of impact was reserved for the Roman Caesar and his minions alone. So the story of the magi also sets up the clash of empires that will characterize the life and ministry of Jesus and will eventually end in his being killed as a threat to the Roman Empire.
Sometimes as we make our migration through life, we are caught up in our day to day circumstances. We may not have the energy or inclination to pay attention to wider themes and a broader context. The story of the magi, making a journey of months if not years and encountering conflict with King Herod, reminds us that we live our lives as part of a broader narrative. We, too, make decisions and choices that have implications for months and years. We, too, are part of social structures that are influencing the kind of world that we live in.
While in some ways, our migration through life is very personal and individual, we are also reminded that we are making our migration through life in a social, political context that is influencing the nature of our journey. And we are also influencing the context around us.
A migration to the manger reminds us that we are to stand against injustice and violence and we are to influence the society around us in ways that create peace and beloved community. Jesus is for the world. And as his followers, we are to influence the world infusing our context with the commonwealth of Divine Love and living into an alternative reality.
The gospel of John tells us that Jesus came because, “God so loved the world.” May we also love that world, all of it!
Seeking to live and flourish, may we make our way toward Divine Love this Advent season. Amen.