“Looking for Christ”

 

Nativity Star and Magi Silhouette

There is something fascinating about light isn’t there? Even at a young age most children love their night-lights or animals that project light on the ceiling. For Christmas we bought Dean a fancy night light display and he absolutely loves it. He will not go to sleep without it.

On Christmas Eve, we all love holding our candles and singing “Silent Night.” On Christmas we all love to go and see the many different displays of Christmas lights. When I was in Richmond with my family, we went to see two of the houses on the tacky lights tour and they were amazing!

God our Creator, created us to be attracted to light, because after all, Jesus Christ is the light of the world. This is not the first time God has spoken to us and saved us through light. Since the beginning of the Bible, God has shown up as light. God appeared to Moses in a burning bush, God led the Israelites by a pillar of fire through the night so that they could escape oppression and find new life.

So, it is fitting that the light of a star is the light that points to the Christ child. In Matthew 2:1-12 we hear the story of the magi who followed the star to come and visit Jesus. Now if we read this Scripture closely it disrupts our perfect nativity scene where the three kings are at the manger with Jesus, and the shepherds and the animals.

In fact, the magi are not kings, but “sages or astrologers” and they arrived two years after Jesus was born.[i] At that time, they had been watching the sky for a sign that the prophecy of a Messiah had been fulfilled. When they saw the star, they knew this was it.

As we celebrate the Epiphany this Sunday, the revelation of Jesus Christ to the magi, it is a beautiful time for us to recommit our lives to God. John Wesley, the founder of our denomination, did something special at the beginning of every year to help all Methodists recommit their lives to Christ. He led what was called a “Covenant Service or Watch Night Service” usually on New Year’s Day.[ii] The purpose of the service “focused in the Covenant Prayer, which requires a person to commit themselves to God.” [iii]

So may we all recommit our lives to God at the beginning of this new year with this beautiful prayer:

“I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you, praised for you or criticized for you. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service. And now, O wonderful and holy God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, you are mine, and I am yours. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it also be made in heaven. Amen.”

References
[i] http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/what-was-the-star-of-bethlehem

[ii] https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/covenant-renewal-service

[iii] Ibid.

Picture used with permission with a subscription to sharefaith.com.

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