Does God play…
hide and seek?
“Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.”
Have you ever stopped for directions? The typical joke is that a man will drive around for hours, trying to find a destination, while a woman would immediately stop and ask for directions.
From our reading of the scripture we see that the Wise Men/Kings/Astrologers/Magi did stop and ask directions. They received directions, an answer in response to their search for The Answer, and made their way to Bethlehem.
It seems inconsistent doesn’t it? The Wise Men were following a star. Besides being men, why would they stop for directions if they had the star to guide them?
The lesson here is that something greater was happening. We need to unfold the map, and get our directions by reading between the lines a little.
Certainly, the gospel account is true. The Astrologers saw a sign in the skies and intuited that something wonderful had happened. That intuition isn’t just some human trait, but God’s grace at work in them, asking them to take action. They chose to believe and act on that grace. They decided to believe and follow a light – a star.
The star they followed wasn’t just something in the sky; it was the light glowing in their hearts that drove them onward toward God. That light drove them toward Jesus, the reality of God’s promise to all people.
The Wise Men received a great blessing – from outside of God’s chosen people, God called these men. With the power of His love – that is, His grace – He called Gentile leaders to come to His Son. These representatives of all nations responded. They headed toward Jesus (stopping for directions along the way).
God doesn’t play hide-and-seek. His grace is for all people in the same way as was given to the Magi. The light of His star exists in all hearts as a little flicker, an ember. If we choose to act on that grace and head toward Jesus, that ember will be fanned into a great flame, greater than any star.
When touched by the spark of grace we must not brush it off or put it out. Rather we stop and ask directions. We start in our faith community, our local church. From there, we set out and find Him as fully as we are able. Finding Him we also become His messengers (like the Magi – who as travelers were also bearers of news). With a great light in us we go out and proclaim the Good News. God is not hiding – we only need to fan His many embers into great stars revealing Jesus to all.