December 17, 2022 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Matthew 2:2
Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw his star rising in the east and have come to worship him.
The same God who sets the galaxies into motions sustains your life in motion. The same God who created the skies orchestrates the stars in the sky just to come get you. May you know, like the Magi, that you aren’t lost in this season. You are looking. May you follow in their steps of ordinary revelation: to wake up, to watch and to walk. Every morning. Every night. May you know God is in your holy night and in this holy darkness. A benevolent (not malevolent) darkness where the darker the sky, the brighter the stars shine to show you the way.
In the days of and even prior to King Herod, astrologers were consultants to kings and emperors in the Greco-Roman world. They were political allies that served the emperor. They watched the skies and saw stars as signs to give rulers advice about their governance. The slightest movement of stars could indicate the fall or rise of leaders in the ancient world. King Herod, a puppet of Rome, might have received the news of the Magi with great concern, fear, and threat. A new political rival? An adversary with a rising star? He could have heard the news of the rising star as a sign of his falling reign. Jealousy and fear are a bad combination in insecure leaders.
Meanwhile, the ancient Persian astrologers get up one night and see this star rising and receive the invitation to wake and watch and follow. Over a period of several months they engage in the most ordinary acts of life. When others are asleep at sunset, they wait for the moon and the stars to rise to receive revelation about their next steps. The least likely of leaders, who were not seen in a positive light, follow the light of this star on their pilgrimage. Israel had a king that wasn’t a shepherd. The star was guiding them to a baby shepherd born king. What I find most beautiful is that the God who created the stars in Genesis 1, Day 4 of creation, uses the tools that they know to send revelation to them and through them.
The stars become witnesses of God’s presence and God’s promises throughout generations. The stars are a historical witness that God deposits light even in times of crisis. Queen Esther was a light during the rule of the Persian empire; the Persians who conquered the Babylonians—the Babylonians who enslaved, deported, and traumatized the people of Israel. The Magi, the least likely of all leaders in this story, are the only ones that respond and receive God’s invitation and revelation.
The same God who sets the galaxies into motion sustains your life in motion. The same God who created the skies orchestrates the stars in the sky just to come get you. May you know, like the Magi, that you aren’t lost in this season. You are looking. May you follow in their steps of ordinary revelation: to wake up, to watch, and to walk. Every morning. Every night. May you know God is in your holy night and in this holy darkness. A benevolent (not malevolent) darkness where the darker the sky, the brighter the stars shine to show you the way.
How does honest and ordinary revelation come through waking, watching, and walking?
Step outside on a dark-lit night and look at the stars. May the smaller lights lead you to the greater light that is Jesus.
God of the stars, guide me by your light. Lift my eyes to the skies and help me see slivers of light in the darkness. Help me welcome the darkness of the night sky as a comforting place where your light grows and shines. May your gentle light guide me in moments of ordinary obedience as I wake, as I watch, as I walk with you. Spirit, guide me in your truth and lead me to the fullest revelation of the light of Christ. Amén.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Now Starring in Bethlehem.
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