Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Relentless Journey (the First Sunday of Epiphany)

I'm sitting in the Reagan National Airport, my heart heavy with leaving. Everyone around me holds their world in between their hands and types furiously, the glow of the small screen casting strange shadows on their faces. I watch as they nod curtly to one another, and shift their feet on the tan and blue carpet, and wait for the planes to board. I wonder where they are going.

I wonder how many of us sitting here remember that today we celebrate the feast of the Epiphany. Today we remember how the wise men saw the star and took off after it. How many of us tapping on our iPhones and sleeping in the uncomfortable black chairs and feeling the ache of departure roaring in our hearts remember that thousands of years ago, these men, staring up into the sky, saw something shoot of beams of light they'd never seen before, and they believed they were supposed to follow it? 

"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." 

We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. What would it be like, if this year, we watched the sky and the earth for the signs of Him? 

I spend too much time debating whether or not it was a speck of dust or a trick of the light. I try to reason my way out of the arduous journey. I suggest to myself that, in fact, it's way too long to Jerusalem and it's such an inconvenience to my life. I look up at the sky, or at incredible mentors in my life and their sweet little girls, and I walk between the Supreme Court and the Capitol in the blessing of being in DC, and I forget to trust the recklessness of God's love. Instead I shy away, thinking, "How humiliating would it be if there was in fact no baby, no king of the Jews, no star sent from God?"

But the Magi remind us that to find the Child, you have to be relentless. You must grab the sign, however uncertain you are about it, and go. You journey to Herod and ask him where the King of the Jews is? You journey to Bethlehem, following the star you probably aren't even sure you see anymore. You press on. And when the star comes to rest, you rejoice. "When they saw the star, they were overjoyed."

This year, we must be relentless in our journey - across the desert, to Jerusalem, to Bethlehem, beyond into Galilee and Nazareth and around Judea and up to the Mountain and down to the city and to Calvary. All the while, the magi remind us, we must trust that however daunting and impossible the journey, we will be overjoyed when we arrive.

And the star, which rose to call out to them, which guided them along their way, will hover over us. Wanderers and worshippers, let us go to Him. 



  1. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I had never thought about this aspect of the magi's journey. So hard to remember to be relentless in our faith sometimes.

  2. What an awesome reminder....especially as RELENTLESS is my OneWord for this year....beautiful Hilary!


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