Miracles in Our Midst
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them? ~Psalm 8: 3-4
As I was pulling the trash bin out to the street in the dark of morning today, I looked up at the sky and paused for a few moments to notice the stars. I am no astronomer—far from it actually. Ignorance can be bliss. You see, without all the scientific details in my way, I can look at the stars with amazement and ponderous awe in a God who could create something so majestic. I see these lights as majestic reminders of an amazing Creator.
How often do we really stop and notice the stars of the night sky? They are always there, yet we rarely see them as more than little meaningless dots in the sky. I don’t often stop to notice the stars, but when I do the “ah hah” moments they inspire remind me of how deep and wide God’s reach truly is. Even more generally, how often do I stop and marvel at any of God’s creation? The answer is, “just not often enough.” Unfortunately, it is easy in life to become desensitized to the world around us. This lackadaisical perspective seems especially relevant during the holiday season where we ineffectively seek to balance secular and worldly responsibilities. Living out our lives prevents us from living out our faith by truly pausing to honor God’s will for the season.
In Matthew 2 we are introduced to the Magi, who have come seeking Christ, guided only by the “Christmas Star.” The three Magi are remarkably the only ones mentioned in scripture who noticed this special star. Bible scholars and scientists dissect the meaning and possibilities of such a phenomenon, but I choose a simple explanation. The Magi saw this star because they took the time to notice it. The rest of the nation was likely too preoccupied with ordinary life to notice the extraordinary all around them. Just like Christmas today, on the first Christmas, people were too overwhelmed with worldly concerns to see the miracles transpiring right in their midst. They probably never looked up at the night sky to see God’s amazing creation, too focused on where their feet were pointing and not where their faith could have been leading them.
As you read this blog, another Christmas has already come and gone. Like most of us, I am already consumed with after-Christmas sales and New Year’s plans. While those things do have significance in my life, I also need to keep my eyes on the sights and signs of God’s presence as much today as I did on Christmas. Jesus may have only one birthday, but I need to celebrate this love each and every day in my heart. Perhaps if I pay more attention, I can see lights guiding my faith, just like the Magi did 2,000 years ago.