Saturday Dec. 17, 2022
A beloved part of the Christmas tradition is the story of the magi following a star to the baby Jesus. How many magi were there? We are not told. Because three gifts are mentioned, it is posited that there were three visitors. Where did they come from? We are only told ‘the east’. But it probably would have taken months if not years to get to Bethlehem from ‘the east’.
In the story in Matthew, we are told that the travelers followed a star and the star led them to Christ Jesus. So this is a season to ponder what star we are following. What star is leading us? Where are we heading? What is leading us?
Some people are obsessed with having long term goals and following a strategic plan to get to those goals. Some people make lists and timelines. Some people keep charts and graphics about how they are doing heading toward something that is important to them. Some people just muddle through day to day dealing with what comes up. Regardless of the style we choose, we are headed somewhere; in a direction, toward something. There are tools and information that we use to lead and guide us. And even if we are not going after some specific accomplishment, our choices and behaviors are heading somewhere. They are leading to an outcome.
Someone who is a heavy smoker is heading toward cancer. They probably did not wake up one day and say, “I am going to do whatever it takes to get cancer,” and then start smoking a pack a day. But nonetheless, that behavior is leading toward an outcome.
So, if you think you do not have certain goals, that you are not intentionally following a star, examine your choices and behavior and you might get a sense of where you are heading. And if nothing presents itself, you might ask someone who knows you whom you trust what they see, what they think, about where you are heading.
This Advent season, we want to think about making choices and taking actions that are consistent with human expression of universal, unconditional love of ourselves, others, and all of Creation. That is the star we want to be following. This is what we want to be leading and guiding us. We may not know exactly where we will end up, or what the journey will be like, but we know that we will end up in the embrace of Divine Love.
In these days of too many choices and too much information, may we keep our hearts centered in universal, unconditional Love and marvel at the journey! Amen.