Betrayed by a Star
When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. – Matthew 2:9 (NRSV)
Stars – like the ones we’ll see in the movies, elevated to pedestals of intrigue, infamy and devotion – have enormous influence. Which is why, in social media circles, they’re called “influencers.”
Attract an “influencer” and you can draw the world’s attention. This star power can bring supportive followers and angry revilers, as well. Follow a movie star and you will find the masses close by.
Epiphany commemorates wise ones who followed a different kind of star.
God placed a light in the sky for the ones who were wise enough to follow. Against the powerful, celebrity advice of a ruler, their wisdom took them in another direction.
God’s light – revealing the place of the Messiah’s birth – might have placed Jesus, Mary and Joseph in jeopardy. That is, if the people had wisdom to see God’s revelation.
Instead, so many were distracted that only a few knew to come and pay Christ homage.
I imagine that God is shining a light on a number of holy moments that – were we wise enough to recognize them – we’d follow to pay homage, too.
Can we see the star? Or are we distracted by some other light?
O God, we are ready for your revelation. Draw us to your light and no one else’s.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.