“We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2.2
Today is the feast of the Epiphany when we are encouraged to reflect on the visit of the wise men to the infant Jesus. Sometimes this can seem a bit odd, like going back to Christmas when the decorations have all come down! However there is never any harm in going back to Christmas.
As we read in the story, a star led the wise men to Jesus. Presumably this involved some planning on God’s part? Was this star specially created and if so, when? The light from the star may have taken some considerable time to reach the earth. It must have taken some planning to ensure that it guided men across many miles to a specific village. We are not told of anyone else benefitting from this event – so was all of this laid on for those men so that they could find Jesus?
Actually this is the effort God has gone to for each of us. In Acts 17.27 we read that Paul was preaching in Athens and told the people that God had decreed the times and places where we would live so that we ‘would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him’.
In other words, God has gone to immense trouble for all of us. It is wonderful to look back over our lives and recognise the people and events that God has used to bring us to a deeper knowledge of himself. Why all the effort? The answer is quite simply because it matters so much to him that we enjoy a relationship with him; he wants us so much that he has gone to great lengths to lay markers in our lives so that we might find him. It’s all because we are worth it.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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