Seeing the signs, seeking their meaning

Dr. Carolyn N. Roy, Plank Chapel United Methodist Church
Jan. 03, 2014 @ 06:52 PM

The Christmas Carol “We Three Kings” will be sung this Sunday in many churches as Epiphany is celebrated. Traditionally, Epiphany is on Jan. 6, marking the end of the 12 days of Christmas with the visit of the Magi.

There is something special about that visit of strangers from the east. For me, it is about their choice to seek out this child and to follow that star and their faith that the star would lead them to a King. Here were people with no relationship to the God of David, of Abraham, who saw a sign about a child, a King of the Jews, and chose to go and seek this child to pay homage.

When they finally found him, the scriptures tell us they were overwhelmed with joy. Their choice to seek and their choice to follow led them to a place where God was revealed to them in human form and they responded with joy.

Do we memorialize this moment in time with statues around a creche or through Christmas pageants and cantatas and forget that that moment continues into our lives today? When we see the signs that God places before us and choose to seek out the meaning of those signs, we will encounter God. We may not find Him in a manger in Bethlehem, but we, like the Magi, will know we have found him and our joy will be unspeakable.

What we will discover in that moment is that God is the true seeker. We will find that God’s desire is for us to find Him. His desire for us to come home and be reconciled to Him is so strong that He sent His Son and placed in the sky a star to light our way.

The world is a dark place. It was dark in Judah when Jesus was born and Herod was King. Herod was a man ruled by fear. We, like the Magi, have a choice. We can choose fear and live and act out of those fears dimming the light within us or we can choose faith and believe that the darkness will not overcome God’s light.

For those moments when darkness appears to be all around you, consider an Epiphany spiritual practice. Rather than freeze that moment in time, consider taking one of the Magi from your manger scene and place him in your prayer closet. Each day you will be reminded to be a seeker of the light, a seeker of signs for where God’s presence is being revealed in your life. The Magi will remind you that you have a choice. Choose the light. Epiphany light is a guiding light and when we open ourselves to that light it banishes the darkness so that we may live in joy. May God’s light shine into your darkness this new year.