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Weekly Reflection

(01-19-2002)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Read Matthew Chapter 2 in your Bibles.

Being from the South, I like eating grits. For those of you who donít know what grits are, they are made from corn and sort of resemble coarse sand when dry. Yankees have a parallel breakfast food made from wheat that they claim to have "creamed." Itís been difficult trying to find good grits up North here.

Two years ago I was at a conference in Chicago, and I was delighted to discover that these Mid-westerners had the good taste to provide grits as an option at breakfast. The first day I got a big bowl of hot grits and seasoned it with salt, pepper, and butter. It was great. The next day I glad to discover that grits were once again on the menu. I helped myself and seasoned the dish the same way. When I sat down, I put a big spoonful in my mouth only to discover that look-a-like imposter, cream of wheat, had fooled me. It wasnít grits after all and cream of wheat is disgusting with salt and pepper on it. What a big bowl of disappointment!

You can imagine that the Magi when they found the child Jesus were disappointed by what they also surely thought was an imposter. They had seen kings before and children of kings. They were supposed to be born in palaces surrounded by attendants, given great nurseries, and be clothed in finery. These were the signs of a king, of royalty and of power. Had not the Magi gone first to the seat of power in Jerusalem? They knew what to expect.

What they saw must have not met those expectations. They did not find a palace, but a simple home. They did not see attendants doting over the child just Mary and Joseph loving him. They did not see great power but weakness and vulnerability. I wonder. Did they doubt that guiding star and turn to go when they saw the child Jesus? Did they at first raise their eyebrows in disbelief and turn to go? Perhaps they did.

But something made them turn back and look deeper into the face of this child. Something convinced them that was indeed the right house, and the star had not misguided them. The light of the star had guided to the place were the new king resided indeed, but another light proclaimed to them that this humble child was to reign. It was another light that compelled them to give their gifts and worship.

It was the light we celebrate in this season of Epiphany. It was the light of Christ that shone through the disappointment and false expectations. It was the light of Christ that shone into the hearts of the Magi and they believed. That same light of Godís love shines still today. It shines into our hearts through the sadness, through the selfishness, through the stress, and through the loss and creates a faith that then reflects that same light outward and into the world where it continues to shine through.

Pray: This little light of mine, Iím going to let it shine. This little light of mine, Iím going to let it shine. This little light of mine, Iím going to let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.

Christís Peace,
Pastor Scott
412-682-6886

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