Wandering And Wondering

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What kind of star are you following?

If your ideas of what the first Christmas night looked like come mostly from dimly lit plastic nativity scenes in people’s lawns and Christmas pageants preformed by local churches, then you no doubt envision ‘three wise men’ presenting gifts to the baby Jesus while he lays in a manger full of hay. While a stable crowded with cows, shepherds, three kings, Mary, Joseph and a ‘no crying he makes’ baby is a great picture for the front of a Christmas card, it’s not the story found in the Bible. The three wise men, three kings or The Magi—whatever you want to call them—never showed up that night. The fact is, they found Mary and Jesus in a house, not a barn. Some scholars even say it may have been a couple of years before they found where Jesus was.

Two years of wandering and wondering.

Are you wandering and wondering?
How long have you been at it?
What is your wandering like? Is it aimless or are you following something, seeking something, searching for something?

“I found you
Star of terrifying effigies
When the night falls
I carry myself to the fortress
Of your glorious cost
Oh, I may seek your fortress”

“We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” That is the explanation the three wise men gave when they showed up in Judea looking for “the one who has been born king of the Jews.” Here’s what is striking to me—these guys came from “the east.” This means they were not Jews; they were eastern stargazers who had been following this star for as many as two years. They were not there because they had been brought up hearing prophecies about how Israel would be redeemed through The Messiah, they were there because they saw a star and wanted to know the story behind it. They showed up because something in them told them that this star meant something, this star was pointing to something much greater than itself, and that something—that someone—was worth finding.

What kind of star are you following?
Is it leading you to a place that is worth your worship?

As you wander and wonder, consider making Star of Wonder part of the soundtrack of your journey. It is not only a beautiful song to listen to, its lyrics are worth wondering about. It is a song that in function mirrors the content it describes. Follow the lyrics of this song and you will find yourself no longer looking at them, but rather past them to The One they rose up to point you towards.

Star Of Wonder (lyrics)
by Sufjan Stevens

I call you
From the comet’s cradle
I found you
Trembling by yourself

When the night falls
Lightly on your right-wing shoulder
Wonderful know-it-all
Slightly where the night gets colder

Oh, conscience,
Where will you carry me?
I found you
Star of terrifying effigies
When the night falls
I carry myself to the fortress
Of your glorious cost
Oh, I may seek your fortress

When the night falls
We see the star of wonder
Wonderful night falls
We see you
We see you

I see the stars coming down there
Coming down there to the yard
I see the stars coming down there
Coming down there to my heart
[Repeat x 10]

I see the stars coming down there
Coming down there to the yard

These days, days, days run away
Like horses over the hills