The Star

Posted December 25, 2012 @ 12:00am | by Tripp

This was my offering at worship on Christmas Eve at First Baptist Church, Palo Alto...


The Star

Close your eyes and imagine a place
not unlike this place
in a time
not unlike this time
where some people
have gathered
with animals they stand
foot-by-foot or shoe-by-shoe
(if you can imagine it)

Like Noah and his ark, all huddled
all dark, they have followed a gleaming star.
Not the sun or the moon or a firefly in June,
a train or plane or a speeding, passing car,
but in the night sky
like time itself had stopped,
high, away, so far
out of reach
yet warm to the touch,
The Star.

Hold on. Work with me here. Close your eyes.
Use your heart or your imagination, that
particular spot
that remembers how to play
knock-kneed and ridiculous
especially today
tonight - seek inside to the place
the place where God resides.

God lives in whimsy
God lives in play.
God lives in starshine
cast in mid-day.
So, can you believe that shepherds, kings, magicians,
and beasts; cows, sheep,
ornery camels, and even
some geese
have followed a star to the manger
this night and stood

Of course you can.
There is no story
too big,
too strange,
too fantastic
for the heart.
At Christmas it is
the heart that leads
that tells the tale
that sets sail
to follow a star
in the East
the horizon adorning.

At Christmas, it is the heart
that enlivens the mind
expands the imagination
into the inconceivable;
that gives us courage
to walk as Joseph,
to wonder with Mary
who ponders such things
as angels,
and justice,
and righteousness,
and even God
in her heart.
She pondered all these things
in her heart.

The Magi, those astronomers of old,
followed their hearts
and, so, followed the star
to the manger
braving Herod's Court and
(in an act of holy rebellion)
following their hearts
returned home by another road
with a song for the journey.

"A song?" you may ask.
Is it so hard to believe
that the angels' song
still echoed,
still found its way
"Gloria! Heaven and nature sing"?
Glory, Wonder, Alleluia?
Can you imagine?
Of course you can.

And we too shall sing,
"Gloria in the highest heavens!"
In the furthest reaches of
imagination of heart and mind
we too will return home

Can you imagine?
Of course you can.


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