Like the stars across the heavens flung.

When Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am,” he did us no favor, but further fragmented us, making us limit ourselves to the cognitive at the expense of the imaginative and the intuitive. But each time we read the gospels, we are offered anew this healing reconciliation and, if we will, we can accept the most wondrous gift of the magi.

My icon [a symbol or metaphor pointing to God] for Epiphany is the glory of the heavens at night, a cold clear night when the stars are more brilliant than diamonds. The wise men looked at the stars, and what they saw called them away from their comfortable dwellings and toward Bethlehem. When I look at the stars, I see God’s glory in the wonder of creation . . . [W]e have not been as wise as the three magi who came from their far corners of the world, seeking the new king, the king who was merely a child.

Surely if the world is as interdependent as the discoveries of particle physics imply, then what happens among the stars does make a difference to our daily lives. But the stars will not and should not tell us the future. They are not to be worshiped. Like the wise men, we no longer bring presents to the moon and the stars, for this child made the moon and the stars. Alleluia! -Madeleine L’Engle, from Episcopal Life, January 1993

Today is Epiphany, and the above is today’s reading from Glimpses of Grace, which I got for Christmas. Today I have been thinking about the star that led the wise men to the baby born to be king. Looking at the stars gives me a comfortable safe feeling, the idea that God knows them each by name, that each star has a place in his creation. I love the idea of the stars pointing us to God just as the star led the Wise Men to Jesus all those years ago. The things that point us to God are often things that take us away from what is easy and safe. Epiphany is a reminder that, as we travel into the unknown, the symbols that point us to God can remind us that he is with us.

Though many people were done with Christmas 12 days ago, I am happy for this one last celebration of the birth of Jesus, who came to earth as man-and-God to offer us a better life, both here and in the world beyond.

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