The Advent Series-Day Sixteen
Day 16: Stargazer
Matthew 2:1-2 - “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.’”
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It’s a particularly clear night two thousand years ago. An astrologer, a respected priest, studies the sky. The small pinpoint of light was nothing of great note, even nine months ago, but since then it seemed every planet in the sky had crossed its path. Then, interrupting the stargazers ponderings, three rapid bursts of light flash as three falling stars again slash through the center of that now brilliant star. "Unbelievable," the stargazer thinks to himself as he looks to his feet, shaking his head in disbelief. But when he casts his eyes again to the sky, his mouth slowly opens in awe. Where the small star was is now a glowing ball of light, many times brighter than before. As his shock subsides, he begins piecing together the meaning. A new star would mean an important birth. Its heading indicates to the west. It rests above the serpent’s constellation to show a leader that would lord over the earth. Its position was in the eye of the lion - a king, but the brightness outshined all else in the sky. The message was clear: The most powerful king of earth had been born!
The magi; or the three kings; or, my personal favorite name for these characters, the wise men; are mysterious characters in the story of the Nativity. They saw a star. They believed it a sign. They followed it. When they get to Jerusalem, they don’t know what’s going on. It’s not their neighborhood. The wise men carry the signs of education and wealth with enough poise that they are welcomed into the courts of the local ruler, but yet they are foreigners and don’t know if there has been a birth in the royal family. They are outsiders. They are not insiders geographically or politically.
And they are outsiders in religion, too.
In this I find a beautiful bit of hope: God speaks to "outsiders."
It shows He speaks to hearts that aren’t labelled with the “right” religion and don’t go to the “right” church. He even speaks in the “wrong” language...the language of outsiders. These outsiders are astrologers. They are practicing a foreign religion, but they are searching. And God writes them a message telling them where to find Him. He writes using the vocabulary of their foreign religion: The stars.
The truth is, there are no outsiders with God. God is always looking for those that are searching. He often finds searching hearts inside those that are “the outsiders”. He speaks the language of outsiders because He speaks directly to hearts. And He invites them into His story.
So, whether you think of yourself as an insider with God or feel like an outsider before God, be sincerely searching. God doesn't see insiders or outsiders. He just sees YOU. God is creating signs for you that are just as unique as you are. He is speaking your language. And inviting you into His story. As Jesus himself would later teach: those that seek - find.
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Copyright All images & writing © 2018 Charis Seed Photography