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The Star Stood Still

The Star Stood Still

by Rev. Hilary Marchbanks on January 03, 2024

The Star Stood Still

In the story of the Epiphany in Matthew 2, we follow a group of wise men who are looking for the Christ Child. They want to see Jesus for themselves and pay homage with gifts. Scholars have studied many things about these men, but the specifics are still not precise - perhaps there were three, perhaps they were kings, perhaps they were Zoroastrian priests, and perhaps they were astronomers. While there is a lot we don’t specifically know, we do know this encounter is important: significant leaders with influence, leaders who were not Jewish, were finding their way to Jesus … and King Herod was paying attention, too. This story tells the reader that Jesus was important, not only to his community, but to the world beyond. It’s time for everyone to pay attention!

I'm struck that when the wise men get to the baby Jesus, the star that has been guiding them stops in the sky. A star which is going to set everything about our history in motion stands still. On Sunday, we will highlight the Epiphany story as we do each year; we will stop for a sacred hour to be still and worship God as we do each week. As we turn our calendar page to another year, it might help us to stay still and put everything into perspective. Leadership coach Margaret Marcuson invites us to stand still as we reflect upon the year 2023. I encourage you reflect upon her questions:

  • What happened in 2023 that you are grateful for?
  • How did you experience others at their best?
  • What in your relationships do you want to let go of?
  • How can you see God at work in the last year?

Perhaps you have already journaled about the year you are leaving behind and the year ahead of you after participating in the Wesley Covenant Renewal Service this past Sunday. (If you missed it, you can experience it at stjohnsaustin.org/worship/past-worship-services.)

Looking back, looking forward, and looking for Jesus, I am grateful for our next year together.

Happy New Year and Happy Epiphany!

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