Follow the Star
By Rick Maupin, Council of Twelve Apostles
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” —Matthew 2: 1–2 NRSV
Musicians write many songs with lyrics about the appeal and excitement found in big cities. They try to entice the listener to share the beauty and excitement of that city. Listening to these songs, one might assume that anything of real importance occurs in exciting, glamorous cities.
The explorers in today’s text were on a journey to visit a new king, recently born. They stopped at Jerusalem, and why not? To find a newborn king, would it not be reasonable the birth would take place in the “big city”? Jerusalem would seem the most likely location for anything this important to occur. However, in the background we hear another song about a small, not-so-glamorous “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” In this mundane little town, these explorers experienced something of epic proportions. Great happenings can occur in the mundane and modest corners of the world.
I was in one of those places—a corner of the world where people live in deep poverty, a village in India. It is unlikely anyone will ever write a song about this village. But in that place, I, like the three explorers in Bethlehem, experienced something humbling. On my arrival, the women of the village asked me to sit down. They removed my shoes and socks, and washed and dried my feet. What I experienced was much more than simply having my feet washed. Here in this “no place” by the standards of the world, I experienced love and acceptance at a new level. We need to remember there are important events happening in the everyday, mundane, and unglamorous places of the world.
Prayer for Peace
God of unconditional love, we find your uncommon love expressed in the most common places. We find your grace extended at the most common times. Help us humbly accept the gifts of others. Help us pursue peace in the village as well as the big city.
Spiritual Practice: Light
Close your eyes, and become centered with your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light, and it lives in you.
Today God, I will share your peace with the broken as well as the whole.