This is the fourth in a series of reflections on John 1.
The light came to his own people,
and his own people didn’t welcome him.
John 1:11 (CEB)
Yesterday, we were thinking about the magi and following the star to find the Morning Star. When they arrive in Jerusalem, they cause quite a stir. It seems no one else had thought this new light in the sky was a big deal. That changed quickly once Herod got wind of a new king. Herod sends the magi on to find this new king.
When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. – Matthew 2:10-11 (CEB)
There is no record that anyone else went with the magi. Or that anyone else thought they would try to follow the star. Or that anyone else fell to their knees with joy. How is it that all these people around Jesus for the last two to three years never found him?
The end of the Christmas season is Epiphany, which is when we generally talk about the magi and the star. On Epiphany we celebrate both the incarnation and the telling of it. The magi go back the way they came, but we assume they told others what they found – just as the shepherds had.
We carry a lot of expectations into the Christmas season. But I wonder sometimes if those of us in the church are like the people of Jerusalem. We hang around with Jesus a lot but we don’t really find him.
The Light is chasing the darkness away. May it help the scales to fall from our eyes, just as an encounter with the Light did for Paul. May it illuminate our way so that we not only follow the Light but find it as well.
What is it that we are following and what are we expecting to find? What might we be missing that is among us already if only we would look?