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The Rector's Corner

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5

It might seem somewhat odd, and probably should, that those who discovered Christ at His birth were people completely outside the cycle of every day Jewish life at the time. First there were the shepherds--to whom God Himself saw fit to announce the event through angels. They were merely being present, watching sheep, as they also watched the night sky. Second were the so-called Magi, the "wise men from the East", foreign seers and astrologers, who saw a portent in the sky and immediately identified it with the birth of a Jewish king. Yet they risked everything to travel from the safety of their opulent city homes to a dusty little Judean town.

These were the only ones mentioned in scripture as finding the event compelling enough to observe it. They knew right where to go and wasted no time getting there..

But, why only these? Why weren't they joined, at least, by some faithful pharisees, or at least some good Messianic Jews? Surely some of these also saw the Light, and could have run to His side? Why were shepherds and Persian astrologers the only ones we hear of? I can understand pagans or those consumed with the secular-world of the flesh-not seeing Him. They weren't looking for Him anyway.

But I wonder why it is that those whose very faith was founded on with the expectation of the glory of God, and who expected the imminent coming of the Lord apparently didn't see that anything particularly significant had even happened. Could it be that they were all looking so hard that they were actually blinded by their own expectations? Or were they just asleep, in the spirit as well as in fact, on that cold dark night when He came.

And, were Herod, and the officials of his court, asleep in a different way, in a spiritual sleep that they would do anything not to disturb? Had they become so selective in their scriptural reading that they had overlooked the numerous passages about Him so that even He could not fit into their religion?

Yet these were the faithful, the outwardly pious Jews of their day. These were the ones who could have been looking for His coming. And, it was these who, many years later, were also the ones who refused to see Him, even when He stood in their midst, and ultimately sent him to execution..

Today, WE are the churchgoers and the Bible studiers. And it is we who have all the gifts at our command to see Him in this world that He has made, the World He has redeemed. We who bear His mark on our soul need to remember that the truth of Christ's Incarnation is that God IS with us. The best place to seek Him is right here, and right now. A brighter tomorrow is indeed promised, but a brighter today is a part of that promise. Will we sleep through it all, or risk it all to find him?

I pray we will dare to seek Him where He wills to be found. I pray that we will all search our hearts and our faith to find and make room for the Lord who wills to be found, but on His terms and through His mercy, not our own. He lives in us, even as we continue to seek Him. Praise our God, Emmanuel, God with us. In all things, and in all places. There is no darkness that can overcome Him, or His love for us. Amen

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