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The Wise Men and Me

January 4, 2011

I have been up since 4:30 in the morning, but strangely have barely slept on my four hour flight to Denver.  Normally the lull and hum of the plane is enough to knock me out like a little baby, but not this time.  My knees are bouncing anxiously.  My toes rhythmically tap to an unknown beat.  I stare out the plane window watching all the square patches of western plains pass below me.  It does not take long before the dark purple Rockies appear in the blurry edges of the plane window.  The cheap plastic does not do my mountains justice.  They are snow-capped and glorious, providing that ever-present “Welcome Home” banner that stretches north to south.  I know God made mountains for everyone, but sometimes I like to think the Rockies are waiting just for me.  I still feel like anywhere other than Colorado isn’t home.

The anticipation of this morning, this day, this arrival are melodramatically overwhelming.  It is silly to be this emotional, but I just can’t help it.  Too many days of work, stress, and obligations have kept me from coming back here, to this place where I feel like I come home to myself as much as I do my family.  It is a long road traveled to get back to this sanctuary, but the peace that is found here never disappoints.  My plane touches down and instantaneously my roots settle back into solid ground.  Let the holidays begin.

During the Christmas Eve service at our church, my pastor talked about the wise men.  I will admit that I faded in and out of attentiveness somewhere amongst his discussion of the history of the Crown of Thorns, but as he talked I couldn’t help but think about these wise men.  These 3 men who Scripture reveals so little about, taking an arduous and painful journey just to go and see a baby.  I wish I knew more about their travels to Jesus’ birthplace.  I wish I understood how far they must have walked, how intentionally they had to plan, or how well their camels held up for so many days.  I wish I understood what it took for them to get to this place of peace, to this child who would show them the way Home.  What faith, what anticipation that journey must have cost.  What must those men have been thinking as they traveled?  Did they doubt that the baby would be there as they hoped?  Once they arrived and found Jesus, what relief and joy did they feel?  That moment, too, must have been melodramatically overwhelming.  What must it have been like to arrive at this manger, and stare into the face of their eternity?

My own journey home cannot hold a candle to the journey of the Magi.  My peace at arriving in the Rocky Mountains pales in comparison to the peace that undoubtedly abounded from their moment of seeing Jesus.  I wish I could fathom what that tangible presence of grace must have felt like.  That realization of love.  The assurance of truth.  The knowledge that everything good they had hoped for would not only come true, but would exceed their wildest expectations.

I am no Magi, but I feel the peace of Christmas this year.  It is the same peace that was given to the world so many thousands of years ago, and it is a peace that will continue to live on where love abides and grace abounds.

Perhaps it abounds more prominently in Colorado, where we are higher up and therefore closer to Heaven?  That is not outside the realm of God’s creative genius…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Courtney permalink
    January 13, 2011 6:11 pm

    It is not that crazy to be that emotional about going home. I feel the same way whenever I see the lights of the monuments over the Potomac River. It is incredibly wonderfully to be able to feel bliss and contentment when surrounded by family.

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