Light for the Lonely
I was a lonely child. Some days, I even sat, peering past my lace curtains to the black, night sky, hoping to see that star shining back at me. And although I was too young to know, some fixed luminous point in the sky was not the Savior of the World…That star somehow gave me comfort and hope.
And as an adult, don’t worry…I know God, not some star, is my sole salvation. At the same time, too often, I can become busy and self-sufficient, walking past the host of stars blanketing the sky above me out where I live, here in the country.
The Magi can teach us, as well as Jesus who said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)
Intellectually, we know who illuminates the heavens, came in a manger, and how scripture says, “He is with us always, even unto the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20)
Yet, it can be easy to implode in business, lose track of the Morning Star, get self-sufficient, and not lean completely, in faith and trust on Him. Jesus describes the Kingdom of Heaven as a man who was willing to sell all he had to buy the field that holds, the treasure of great price. (Matt 13:44)
And yet, have I really grasped the Great Sacrifice worth selling all for?
Let’s be honest, Jesus can seem far in the hustle and bustle of life, and it can be challenging to slow down, and acknowledge our dependency on Him.
What I love about the Magi in the story of the Star of Bethlehem (Matt. 2) was how the Wise Men were purposefully searching, inquiring, and were even considered experts at looking to the heavens.
Their eyes were actually intentionally fixed to the changes above them. Is mine? Is yours?
And, how often do I go around racing past in hurriedness and business, forgetting, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” (Psalms 19:1)
To clarify, theologically speaking, we are not called to astrology, but to the Creator of all eternity. We are not asked to be zombies, staring up into the heavens, while living a life of emptiness. God called us to “go” (Matt. 28:19), be like Him (Luke 10:37), and to reflect, The Light of the World. (Matt 5:14)
However, there is something about, like I did as a child, looking for physical demonstrations of His love. And we should never be settled accepting a world that doesn’t know The One that said, “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3), who “Set the heavens in place” (Prov. 8:27), or who “Died for us, while we were yet sinners.” (Rom. 5:8)
Unlike mere mortal men, scripture gives a promise and keeps it of hope, and freedom, of, “A baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12) It promises our own hollow or loneliness isn’t the end of the story, but that there is forgiveness in a Savior who grew up, died, and resurrected for the purpose of redeeming us. (Titus 2:14)
There are far too many man-made superstitions or unbiblical notions about the stars of heavens. Yet, we can cling to His promises. “There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars.” (Matt 21:25) “The Son of Man will be coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Matt 21:27)
We need not worry. Let’s gaze past the dark to the Light of the World (John 8:12) who will never leave or forsake us. (Duet. 31:8) And even on cloudy days, truth can assure us…the stars are still up there, the light of His goodness won’t ever fade or fail us.
Let’s stop this season, look up, and remember His goodness. He came like a baby; sweet, humble, and innocent. Let’s be like the Magi, and fix our eyes on the One who made the heavens.
About Jen Avellaneda
Though born, raised, and still living only miles from where she grew up, Jen's heart lies in the nations. Jen loves the beautiful tapestry found in the wide diversity of people, different cultures, and all nations. Jen and her husband have been married twenty years, and have parented fifteen kids and counting; twelve foster, one adopted, and two bios. Her multi-racial family reflects her passion for unity, desire for faith without walls, and missional mindset to share both the gospel and the power of redemption to a world desperately needing the hope found in Jesus Christ. Jen and her husband have led in a variety of ministries; including prayer, small groups, children's, and women’s. Jen advocates for the orphan as a board member for the non-profit, A New Song; and loves doing missions work internationally, along with her family. You can find Jen writing about faith, while challenging her readers at her blog, Rich Faith Rising, as well as at tweeting faith-filled messages @Jen_Avellaneda . Jen is also on facebook.
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12/6/2016 09:57:52 am
Beautiful reflection for Advent
12/9/2016 09:37:38 am
Jen, This spoke directly to my heart. This year has been a challenging one for our family. We were forced to slow down because we had no more energy to give. So in this Christmas season, I've been simplifying and talking with my children about setting our eyes on what is important. Not the hustle and the bustle that misses that star! Thank you for this affirmation and encouragement to know that it's okay without all the decorations and traditions I've always done. It's okay this year and keeping our eyes on the One who was born that night will make this a beautiful and meaning Christmas! I'm so thankful for your presence at #MomentsofHope! You are a blessing!
12/13/2016 02:06:31 pm
Thank you for this beautiful reflection. The Wise men did it right by keeping their eyes focused on Jesus. I pray I can do the same in this season of advent and all throughout the year. Glad to be your neighbor at TellHisStory today.
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