Isaiah 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12
Long ago, and far away.
A wise one looked up from their star charts, and their simple telescope and mused: “I wonder…” And their neighbor wondered too. They bent their silvered heads over their calculations, read their ancient tomes and their imaginations caught fire with wonder.
Long ago, and far away. Close your eyes and see them, part of a long caravan. One rides their fiery black horse, mane shining in the starlight, hooves flashing sparks against the ground, while his rider sings ancient poems. Another comes on the back of a great striding camel, swaying with its sand eating gait, checking now and then where that blazing signpost rises each evening, marking the charts, staying the course.
There are others, some older, some younger. They shout and wonder and write poems about this mad wild adventure on which they find themselves. Strangers, colleagues, all together now in one great pilgrimage following a star of all things.
And of course you and I we know the rest of the story. We know they expected to arrive at a palace and instead, eventually they found themselves outside a little house in dusty Bethlehem. Their grand mounts sharing the narrow street with herds of sheep and goats.
Their excited babble growing quiet as the door to that little house opens, and light spills out into the darkness and the star gives a last wink and bows out before the light they really came to find. Mary opens the door, and there is a little child, hanging onto her other hand, toddling, reaching out to the new people and sights and sounds, discovering again the old truth of Genesis: and God looked on all God had made, and saw that it was very good.
Epiphany calls out to all of us whose ancestors weren’t Israel. To all of us from far flung places who never-the-less have found our way to the God of Israel. For all of us for whom the child in Bethlehem lights our darkness, draws us close, and reveals to us the delight of God.
In this world God has made.
In what could be.
And so we go away from that lit doorway with some of that light in our hearts, still I hope murmuring to each other: I wonder…