Speaking Of Life 1006 | A Gathering Light
Have you ever experienced a Christmas Tree lighting event?
My friend shared a unique Christmas experience in a small art district in Dallas, TX. Various art shops opened their doors, providing free wine and hors d’oeuvres. As you can imagine, they quickly filled with people. But as the sun went down, the doors started closing, leaving everyone out in the cold. My friend discovered that he and his family had become separated, and it had gotten too dark to see clearly.
People were drawn to one little rugged shop that was still lit up. It was a glass-blowing shop known for its beautiful glass creations. In its courtyard stood an old metal tree that people gathered around waiting. At the appointed time, workers from the shop carried out hot molten glass and began drizzling the metal tree with gleaming strips of dazzling light. Within a few minutes the cold metallic structure was transformed into a beautiful Christmas tree decorated with glistening glass dancing with fire and light. It was a sight to behold. As the tree got brighter, the crowd grew closer. And it was in the glow of that fiery light that my friend found the faces of his family.
This story may remind us of another story that is often told to begin the Epiphany season. I’m referring to the story of the Magi, or Wise Men, as they are often called. These astrologers, slash magicians, weren’t Jewish. But, because of a spectacular light event in the sky, they were drawn to Jesus, King of the Jews. The visit of the Magi to pay homage to Jesus is a story that reveals to us a Father who never intends for anyone to be left out in the cold, cut off from his family.
When Matthew tells this story in his Gospel account, he seems to have a passage from Isaiah in mind that points to this reality:
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: all assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip.” (Isaiah 60:3-4)
The birth of Jesus – accompanied by the visit of the Magi – is an epiphany for us. It opens our eyes to see that the Father sent his Son to draw all people to himself. No matter the perceived distance and darkness that lie between us and the Father, Jesus is the Light of the world leading us home. As we come to him, we come to see we are not shut out, lost and alone in the cold dark night. We are brought into communion with the Father, Son, and Spirit and with brothers and sisters gathered in the glow of his love.
May this Epiphany season open our eyes to see Jesus as the light that gathers.
I’m Anthony Mullins, Speaking of Life.