2020 is finally over. In disbelief, we can look back to the year that was. Trinity went months without in-person worship. There was no Living Christmas Story with cars driving through our parking lot. We ended 2020 without a live Christmas Eve service on campus.

The change in the yearly calendar has not made a difference. We are still haunted by the pandemic. In fact, the numbers are peaking at a level higher than in early 2020. We all know someone who has had the virus; many of us know of someone who has died. What does the future hold for us, our families, our church, and our nation?

The Gospel of Matthew tells us the Magi saw Christ’s star at its rising. A star is a difficult thing to follow, even for a short time. Certainly, there were nights where there were fog, clouds or rain blocking the star’s light. What about the terrain? Surely there were canyons, mountains, or other natural obstacles that kept the travelers from taking a straight path to their holy destination. Just because they could not see the star did not mean it was not shining above the clouds; did they keep moving in the right direction without seeing the star? Even as they turned right or left, north or south, the star’s light was a beacon in the sky illuminating the way. With hope and persistence, the Magi completed their journey.

In 2021, we find ourselves on a journey; we cannot go back to the way it was before. The Light of Christ guides us through this journey. But in this present darkness, our sight can be clouded by doubt and fear. Can we have the courage to keep moving forward, reckoning in hope of where the Light was in the murkiness of the pandemic? May we always follow hope in the light of Christ. In this season of Epiphany,

I am reminded of the Magi making their way from distant lands to pay homage to the Christ child. We do not know how long they traveled to see Jesus. Was it months or even years? There were no interstate highways to hasten the way or a highway patrol to protect them from bandits. There was no GPS, and perhaps only an antiquated map. The journey was fraught with danger.

The Gospel of Matthew tells us the Magi saw Christ’s star at its rising. A star is a difficult thing to follow, even for a short time. Certainly, there were nights where there were fog, clouds or rain blocking the star’s light. What about the terrain? Surely there were canyons, mountains, or other natural obstacles that kept the travelers from taking a straight path to their holy destination. Just because they could not see the star did not mean it was not shining above the clouds; did they keep moving in the right direction without seeing the star? Even as they turned right or left, north or south, the star’s light was a beacon in the sky illuminating the way. With hope and persistence, the Magi completed their journey.

In 2021, we find ourselves on a journey; we cannot go back to the way it was before. The Light of Christ guides us through this journey. But in this present darkness, our sight can be clouded by doubt and fear. Can we have the courage to keep moving forward, reckoning in hope of where the Light was in the murkiness of the pandemic? May we always follow hope in the light of Christ.

X