to follow a star

ChristinaSajOHolyNight_500Three wise women set out to follow the star. Each ended the journey and gave away her treasure along the way. One dropped out when she was needed to heal the sick during a plague. The second stayed behind to help prevent a war with her leadership. The last remained in a great city to provide for the poor. When the star left the heavens each awoke the next day to discover a gift placed beside her while she slept. They never solved this mystery, but the meaning is clear: they had arrived at their destination even though they had not completed their journey.

On this cold night of Epiphany the stars are bright with promise. We follow and hope to arrive in time. May we be open to the destinations calling for our gifts, knowing the journey continues.

Image above (and on front-page mastheads): O Holy Night by Christina Saj.
Words above: by Steven Charleston.

…maybe Christmas means a little bit more

 
ChristChildandMaryIcon
(shared from pen and palette)
 

“It came without ribbons!  It came without tags!  It came without packages, boxes or bags!”…
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!  “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!”
(Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!)

With all the distractions and details that precede this day, it is easy to wonder if the meaning of Christmas has been lost. Not one more sale nor sour-faced Grinch can change the gift brought to all on this daybreak. Hope is renewed in the birth of baby. Faith is rekindled in the bright morning star. Hearts soften as God’s love comes among us in the gentle care of a parent’s touch.

Yes, the meaning of Christmas is beyond all the chaos leading up to this moment. In the quiet of this early morning, may the spirit of Christmas be near and bring peace.