Day Thirty-Four: Spread the Light

January 3, 2020
By Meg Ross

By Meg Ross

Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.                            -Matthew 2:7-12 (NLT)

There’s a twist to the story we remember: Rather than three men on camels, there may have been many wise men who traveled in droves. Because of the mention of the three gifts brought to the baby Jesus, we assume the three men.  Perhaps even more surprising is that the wise men were not followers of God. They were more than likely astrologers, gentiles. But God made a way, speaking into the light of the star and leading the wise men to Jesus. The wise men followed the light and they were filled with joy!

As the early riser in my family, I start my day with two practices–exercise and prayer. In this stillness, I find that my heart is most able to hear God’s voice. In the midst of chaos, or even moments of darkness, I seek Him, I listen, and I trust in the light of His love.

In 2020, wise people (both believers and non-believers) still travel in droves, seeking to lighten their emotional burdens and find peace through exchanges that acknowledge the light in one another. But what would happen if we took this one step further, not merely acknowledging the light but spreading that light into dark corners?  To invert a familiar proverb, what if we as individuals preach what we practice?

At Mt. Bethel, we close each Christmas Eve worship service by sharing the light—eagerly and intentionally spreading one small flame of candlelight from neighbor to neighbor as we lift our hearts and voices to welcome Jesus. In this moment, many are receiving the light of Jesus for the first time.

The wise men could have returned to Herod, but once they met Jesus, their journey (and their lives) took a different path.

This Holy Season, my prayer is for the seekers—may you allow the light of Jesus to point you toward the path of joyful awakening.