There’s a Facebook page I follow this time of year called “Wandering Wisemen,” which follows the fictional journey of three lost kings on their way to Bethlehem. It’s an Advent calendar of sorts, with a new post each day sharing their adventures. The kings and their camel encounter all kinds of unexpected things on the way: this morning, they came across a piano and discovered musical talents they didn’t know they had. Last week, they stopped for a yoga break.
I don’t know who’s behind the camera and sharing these scenes, but it’s a delightful way to imagine the journey of the wisemen traveling from a long way away, following the star, not quite knowing where it will lead.
There’s actually quite a lot of traveling in the scriptural Christmas stories, lots of comings and going. Angels come to announce the births of John and Jesus, Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem, the shepherds come down from the hillside, the magi come from the East, the holy family escapes to Egypt and then back to Nazareth… Nobody stays put very long.
All this moving around is notable because we often talk about Advent as a season of waiting, which implies a stillness, a passiveness. But that’s not quite right: the coming of God into the world requires something from us: we ought to be changed by this story. We ought not to end the season in the same place we started.
So I wonder: Where is this Advent adventure leading you this year? Where is the star calling you? When you finally peer into the manger, how will you be changed?
It won’t be long now, friends: the daylight is getting shorter and shorter, but just for another few days, and then the light will begin to lengthen. There’s light among us, even now.