Saturday, December 04, 2010
journey through advent: am I travelling well?
The art piece intrigued me. Positioned inside Spicer Uniting Church were three lifesized cutouts. Each was holding three bicycles. Faceless, they could be any human, about to embark on any adventure.
The art piece was a gift for Advent. Three humans, embarking on an adventure. Which got me thinking about the Magi.
The Magi appear in Matthew 2. The best translation is magician, sorcer, astrologer. There is considerable historical evidence of intense interest in stars and how the relate to world events at the time of Jesus. So we’re dealing there with a world in which people watched the stars in order to get a sort of heads up on significant matters.
I’d always seen the Magi as “them.” Strange, exotic. But looking at the art piece, I began to wonder, what if the Magi were “us”; were “me”? A human embarking on an adventure.
Magi are using their star seeking skills, committed to watching their world, and to seek God’s leading, whatever that might cost. So the Magi’s journey through Advent, asks us some questions about how well I’m travelling.
- First, it’s so much easier to guide a moving boat. So this Advent, am I moving? Or am I actually simply seated?
- Second, this Advent how much attention am I, like the Magi, paying to the world around me. This Advent, how attentive am I to this moment, this place, this conversation?
- Third, for a Jew, following the stars was a form of idol worship. So by including the Magi, Matthew is telling us that all sorts of people can seek Jesus. (Not always from folks we’d prefer.) This Advent, how open am I to unexpected people among whom God might be at work?
This post is part of an Advent synchroblog, titled journey through Advent.