Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Recognizing Light in the Darkness

Many Christian churches celebrate January 6th as the Epiphany, a commemoration of the time when the Magi, who had been seeking the Messiah, came to the end of their journey. They knelt in worship offering the gifts they felt fit for a King. 

This devotional came forth when  I was working through a meditation based on the Scripture text that begins it. 

It seems fitting to begin our new year in an attitude of worship and gratefulness.

We have journeyed through 12 months depending on the One who came to share his all with us. Even with the unknown that awaits us in our days yet to come, our focus can be as steady as that of these men who never gave up in their goal and were rewarded for their faithful efforts.

Recognizing Light in the Darkness

“When they saw that the star had stopped, 
they were overwhelmed with joy” 
(Matthew 2:10 NRSV).

We have just come through the season of Christmas yet the gift continues to unfold. I was meditating on the Magi who traveled so far in search of the Messiah.

What perseverance! 

The time frame of their arrival in Bethlehem is not always clear among scholars, but that they did arrive is important.

These men were astrologers who studied the heavens. It was this gift that helped them to recognize how Old Testament prophecies were close to being fulfilled.

It is interesting to think about “stars” in relationship to their travels for they lived by the lights in the dark skies and were guided in the night.

How often I feel lost in the darkness of my circumstances and pain. I can wander too long feeling overcome. The Magi welcomed the darkness for they knew it was leading them to the Messiah. For them it was a long journey; for me it is a change in focus.

The Magi had to wait until the star stopped in its appointed place. The Lord often waits on me until I remember the “star” is permanently dwelling within me.

He is in his appointed place and wants me back there with Him.

What was the light in the Bethlehem stable -  a dark and forsaken place for humans. Perhaps a torch carefully placed could have brought some light. 

But when the Magi kneeled to worship, it was their recognition of the light emanating from the babe that overwhelmed them with joy.

The gift that I can bring to the One who is the Gift, is recognizing how close He is and how much He longs for me to stop and recognize that all I need is to seek and find Him deep within.


Lord, you were born in the darkness of a night so your light could shine with lessons I need during my times of uncertainty. I bow before your faithfulness and receive the light of your care. Amen.


  1. "The Magi welcomed the darkness for they knew it was leading them to the Messiah." That makes me see the darkness a little differently, a little less fearfully. When things are darkest, the light shines brightest. Thanks for reminding us today that the Light is already in us, with us. No greater gift!

    1. . . .and it is a gift to me to read your comments, Lisa. As is evidenced from what I wrote, the Scripture text got me to thinking more deeply about the Magi. They often are seen with somewhat narrow vision and I liked being able to ponder them differently than a "one stop visit" that, though meaningful, was brief ( or brief in what we know about it ). They must have had conversations with Mary and Joseph. The must have told them the story of how they came to follow the star. I'll bet there was a lot of celebrating going on when they arrived -as well as their worshipping Christ.

  2. Thanks for this reflection Lynn - I've been working on some thoughts about light and darkness myself, so timely reading your words.

    "All I need is to seek and find Him deep within" - so true, you wonder why we can forget it!


    1. Thank you, Fiona - 'tis so true for I know it can take me a while to head to the Source of the light. Seems I need to stew for a while! Then - ah - He gets my attention.

      I did submit this to RM - but wanted to post it here for the day of the Epiphany and I also used the translation from the NRSV for it had the deeper meaning I wanted to convey in my text. I inserted it in the RM version but this blog spot is "all mine"!! I know you understand that feeling for I so appreciate when you post on your "blog spot"!

      xo Lynn

  3. "For them it was a long journey; for me it is a change in focus." I love this statement. It is straightforward and illuminating. Thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts on the Magi and their journey to the King. Even though we are halfway through the month of February, it is still inspiring. Just the boost I needed! BTW, I came across your blog via THE CONSILIUM Facebook group. Blessings!

    1. Robin, I am delighted you stopped by to visit my blog AND found encouragement here. This was a new way for me of looking at the Magi and their journey and I was so excited to share it.

      There are many Scriptures that we can easily pass by thinking we know them so well. To find new insights in them is reason to revisit a few more to see what new revelations may come!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts - so appreciated!

  4. "The gift that I can bring to the One who is the Gift, is recognizing how close He is and how much He longs for me to stop and recognize that all I need is to seek and find Him deep within." It is those words that beautifully state how God craves this relationship and time with each of us. I love how He pursues each of us and how we please Him by taking time to spend just with Him. Blessings!

    1. Mary - so gracious of you to stop by and leave your thoughts.

      God does long for our recognition of His nearness. We all can get busy and distracted. I think of the quiet time I spend with Him as what develops the relationship that is "us". . .the deepest and most important relationship of all.

      xo Lynn


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