Advent, Week Two (Peace): Magi

I am a king-maker. A wisdom-wielder. A keeper of dark mystery.

For hundreds of years we have shaped the world. One might even say we have controlled it. Men seek us out. They rely on our wisdom for guidance, as they have for generations. I understand ambition. I know well the pull for prominence, the quest for power. I have seen kingdoms rise and fall. I have watched men ruin each other and all they live for. I have myself lusted, consumed, plundered, and destroyed.

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I am a darkness-dweller. I carry the weight of knowing it will never be enough, all this striving, all this ruthless upward-pulling. We are lost, and the gods for whom we devour and destroy will devour us in the end. What is all this for? Surely there is something more than this hopeless toil for nothing.

I search the heavens night by night, waiting. Waiting for a catastrophe, waiting for an answer, waiting for something to begin, or maybe for everything to end.

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And then comes the star. This thing so bright, so unmistakably new, dominating the night sky. We know. Here is a great power. Something to change the world. 

Some of us search the old ways. But some of us ready for the pilgrimage that seems to be the only response. For there are promises we have clutched close in secret, remembering a people who offered a better way.

Prophecies of a king.  The story of a God who could destroy us but dwells with us instead. The story of the God of the stars, the commander of light, who comes to be light among us and show us the way home.

The star drives me across long deserts and weary days. Night after night the light of that star burns into me, pushing me on. For too long the things I hold within have darkened my heart, sickened my very soul. I feel myself rotting away, crumbling to dust inside my trophy walls, my gilded life. The God of that star is the God who can answer me. Or kill me.

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I am not sure what I expected, but it isn’t this.

I wasn’t looking for peace in a peasant’s hut. I wasn’t seeking strength in the composure of a quiet girl. I did not expect to find such joy in a powerless place, such glory in this stillness.

But I know a King when I see one.

And I know holiness when I step into the presence of something that sears the soul, that instantly exposes me for the fraud I know I am. And though I tower over this Child, I find myself collapsing before Him, face to the earth.

Ashamed. Elated. Afraid. Hopeful. Undone.

How do you describe this feeling of being scooped out, scoured clean by love? How explain the emptiness filled by light, like a dark sky lit by a star you could never imagine? Like a yearning burning its way through every thread and thought and breath until you feel you might die of it? Like a death and a rebirth all at once?

How do you offer this King the gift you are now ashamed of? How do you get up off that patch of dirt where you belong and go back to the shadowlands? How do you tell this craving, thirsting, grasping people that they have it all wrong, that there is this holy hollowing, that the way lies not in rising but in falling?

I do not know, but the falling is where it begins. The falling before Him and the giving way, again and again, surrendering to the light.

(adapted from the archives)

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3 thoughts on “Advent, Week Two (Peace): Magi

  1. Well-crafted, moving and so right!

    I wonder as I wander
    out under the Star;
    did I make a blunder?
    I could use a cigar.
    I go where I’m beckoned,
    but am I on the right trail?
    I never reckoned
    it could bring such travail.
    I’m following Someone
    killed for what He said.
    No, I’m not grumblin’,
    but I could end up dead!
    Still, I have to see it through
    for it’s better than the life I knew.

    Liked by 1 person

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