“For People Who Could Use a Star”                                                  January 5, 2014

Matthew 2:1-12                                                                                    Stephens City UMC


Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.


I.                   Each night the magi would look toward the sky and gaze at the stars, hoping for a sign.

A.    Tradition has it that the magi were searching for the activity of God, because they were intellectuals and contemplating the activity of God is intellectually stimulating.

1.     But I wonder if there was something more personal they were searching for, I mean, what was going on in their individual lives?

2.     Was everything going well at home?

3.     How was their health?

4.     Were they searching for a star not just as an academic exercise but out of a personal need?

5.     Or were they even aware of their personal need?

B.     The magi weren’t the last group of people who could use a star.

1.     Many people today realize that they could use a star; some people don’t.

2.     I heard about a woman who on Christmas Even encountered a man she knew in the grocery store and asked him what he was going to do for Christmas.

3.     His response was “I’m heading home to get liquored up.”

4.     He needed a star to follow out of his darkness and to come to live in the light.

5.     He just hadn’t realized it.

C.     I think one reason you are here today is because you’ve realized that you could use a star.

1.     A star to guide you in the right direction this new year.

2.     A star to shine light on your path so you don’t stumble and fall into the ways of sin.

3.     A star to bathe you in grace and love.

D.    For those of you who were here on Christmas Eve you heard me talk about how the star that the magi followed was not the true light.

1.     They were wise to follow the light of that star because it guided them to the true light – Jesus Christ.

2.     I encouraged you to follow the light that God shone on your path and to allow that light to lead you to the true light – Jesus Christ.

3.     That is one reason you are here today because the light you experienced has guided you back to this house of worship and even more specifically to the Communion Table where you will experience Jesus who is the true light.

E.     As far as I’m concerned that is an excellent way for you to begin the New Year and I would urge you throughout the year to be guided back to this place where Christ is present because I just think that’s the wise thing to do.

1.     And another thing you could do this New Year which may not so much be wise as it is right would be to be a shining star for others.

2.     Some know they need a star to guide them to the true light while others like the man in the grocery store haven’t figure it out yet.

3.     But if you’d shine so bright with the light of Christ then I believe that the darkness in which any person dwells will be penetrated because as John says of Jesus in his Gospel, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)