How many people do you know who open the paper (or maybe the internet these days) in the morning, and the first thing they do is look up their horoscope, to see what advice it can give them about their day. For most of human history, the sky has been one place people have looked to try and figure out the purpose of life. Even if we don’t look to the stars for it, pretty much all of us feel we could use a little guidance in life. Perhaps this is why there’s enduring power in the story that we hear at Epiphany of travelers from the east who came seeking a babe who had been born in Bethlehem. Even if you don’t think it’s literal or historical, it’s a marvelous story of people setting out for an unknown destination, meeting selfish characters who try to trick them, listening to their dreams and discovering truth, and returning home by a different route.
What I take away from this story is, if I follow what leads me towards God, and pay attention to the journey, I will encounter distractions and illusion, but I will also encounter holiness. And while I very well may end up right back where I started, I will be transformed in the process!
I often don’t do a piece of art for Epiphany, as it comes so quickly on the heels of Christmas, but this piece was inspired by a beautiful song on my friend Garrison Doles’ album A Songmaker’s Christmas, called “Why Are We Following This Star?” I highly recommend this amazing album, which is much deeper and more thought-provoking than your average Christmas album!