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Deacon’s Blog – January 2024

By January 1, 2024January 4th, 2024No Comments

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” —Matthew 2:1–2

As we reflect upon Feast of Epiphany, and the spiritual journey inspired by the stories of the Magi and T.S. Eliot’s “Journey of the Magi,” let us consider the profound sacred pilgrimage we, as Christians, undertake – the journey to follow the way of Jesus.  (Link to the Poem)

Jesus invites us to follow Him, to walk in His footsteps, and to embrace the transformative power of discipleship. The Magi, also, responded to a divine call, following celestial and spiritual signs that led them to the Christ child. As Christians, our journey is to follow the way of Jesus, guided by His teachings, example, and the indwelling of His Spirit.

The parallels between the Magi’s quest and our Christian journey are striking. The Magi embarked on their expedition seeking the newborn Emmanuel, guided by a celestial light. Likewise, we Christians are called to a lifelong journey following the way of Jesus in our lives, guided by the light of His Word and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

In Eliot’s poem, the Magi faced challenges and doubts on their path. Likewise, our journey is not exempt from trials. We are challenged by doubts, uncertainties, and the demands of the world that too often pull us away from the way of Jesus. However, it is precisely in these struggles that we find an opportunity for spiritual growth and a deepening of our faith.

The Magi, upon reaching the Christ child, experienced a profound encounter with the Holy. In our faithful journey, we too are called to encounter Jesus – not just as an historical figure but as a living presence in our lives. This encounter is transformative, challenging us to reassess our priorities, values, and the way we engage creation and seeking the Christ in each other.

Following the way of Jesus lies not only in the destination but in the journey itself. Jesus, during His earthly ministry, embodied love, compassion, and humility. He healed the sick, embraced the outcasts, and spoke truth to power. Our Christian journey is not just about reaching a destination (Heaven, prosperity, privilege) but by being co-creators of the reign of Heaven here and now, healing he sick, welcoming the stranger, feeding the homeless, and speaking truth to power.

Eliot’s Magi faced the unsettling reality of returning to a world that had changed. Similarly, our encounter with Jesus transforms our lives, prompting us to navigate the complexities of our modern world with a different perspective. Following the way of Jesus means embodying His love and grace in our families, workplaces, communities, and beyond. Sacrifice is a common theme: The Magi sacrificed their comforts to seek the Christ child. Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow Him, denouncing self and world centered pursuits for the sake of a spiritual transformation that heals the world.

Let our journey following the Way of Love mirror the perseverance, dedication, and transformative spirit of the Magi. As we follow Jesus, may our lives become a testament of and with his love, grace, and joy. Let us walk in His footsteps, guided by the light of His Word and encouragement of the Holy Spirit, so that our journey will draw us ever closer to the heart of God.

Allow me to close with a quote from Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, Home by Another Way

 

“Once upon a time there were some very wise men who were all sitting in their own countries minding their own business when a bright star lodged in the right eye of each of them. It was so bright that none of them could tell whether it was burning in the sky or in their own imagination, but they were wise enough to know that it didn’t matter. The point was, something beyond them was calling them, and it was a tug they had been waiting for all their lives.”

I invite you to allow the story of the Magi’s journey to draw you into the transforming power of Walking Jesus ‘ Way of Love.

Blessings, Rex