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Starstruck by Jason Edwards

A Note from Pastor Jason

Starstruck

Yesterday was the first Sunday of the new year. Given our penchant for making New Year’s resolutions that are really “new you” resolutions, it seems fitting that we also just started the season of Epiphany.

“Epiphany” is literally a “lifting of the veil” or a “revelation,” and in our Christian Liturgical Year it represents the “manifestation of Christ to the world.” Whereas the baby Jesus was known to a Jewish Mary and Joseph from His birth, the adoration of Christ by the Magi, by these Eastern, pagan astrologers, became a monumental moment in our Biblical history. The sign of the stationary star, situated over our Savior, gave a great light to the traveling Magi, and it was their foreign belief in Christ that ignited him as the Light of the World to the rest of creation.

It’s no wonder that nowadays we talk about having an “epiphany” when a lightbulb goes off in our heads. An epiphany in this sense refers to “a sudden intuitive leap of understanding, especially through an ordinary but striking occurrence.”

How much more ordinary can a stable birth to a poor young Jewish couple be? And yet how much more striking could God coming down to earth in the fleshly form of a tiny babe be? We get the sense from Matthew that these Magi had an intuition all along that something was special about Jesus, though it’s not until they’re stopped under the star and staring at Him that they are truly starstruck.

Now, this is not the kind of starstruck like we remember from the old Warner Brothers cartoons where the Road Runner would run smack into something, and the stars would swirl around his goofy, cross-eyed expression of disorientation and pain.

And this is not the kind of nauseating starstruck that we celebrity-addicted Americans have about needing to know every detail about Angelina Jolie’s parenting skills or Adam Levine’s last date.

No, the kind of starstruck that swept over the Magi upon viewing the Christ Child was a pure, childlike wonder and awe. It was a humility that comes from letting go of all rational explanations in order to bow down to a mystery greater than they could ever imagine. It was a curiosity that chased a glittering star even as King Herod was plotting the darkest of nights.

Which makes me wonder: what if, rather than resolving to embrace the latest fading fad in 2018, we instead opened ourselves to the possibility of epiphany? To become, once again, starstruck.

Do you go through life focused on yourself and what you have to get done? Or do you slow down enough to notice the glistening glory of God in a star? In a smile? In a song? Have you lost your wonder in worshipping God? Would you follow a star in the sky if you thought it might lead to something special? Would you even see the star in the first place?

Perhaps this is the day, and this is the year when you ought to try to open your eyes wide to the unexpected and always-renewing Light of Christ. You might, then, find the “new you” you’re looking for.

Follow the Magi to the Messiah. Allow yourself to wonder as you wander — and if you do, you may find yourself sitting at the foot of the Holy One, soaking up his love … starstruck.*

Jason Edwards

Senior Pastor

*“Starstruck” credit to a wonderful Epiphany sermon I heard preached by Anne Jernberg in 2008.

 

Posted by Jason Edwards at 9:12 AM
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