Notes from Jan

After The Star Goes Back Where It Came From

January 10, 2020

The Christmas tree star’s back where it came from, boxed up until it’s time to shine again. No more signs of Christmas other than some wee lights wrapped around  a potted cactus in the living room.  Not a bad visual.

Life’s prickly here and there and even pinpricks of light make a difference, poking hope into dark places in us, out there.

Sometimes I wonder, what were the days and weeks like for Mary, Joseph and Jesus after the star, shepherds and stable returned to simply shining, sheep-tending and stabling the inn’s four-legged guests?   The Bible doesn’t go into a lot of details, which may explain why we like filling in the holes God leaves, tho’ we do know the Magi never made it to  Bethlehem’s barn.  Somewhere along the way, we must’ve decided we needed to add some pizzazz to the stable.  Hard to  imagine a church pageant or nativity scene without the three Wise Men off to the side,  adjusting regal robes,  head pieces, toying with fancy bottles and boxes.

Truth is, they weren’t needed right away.  Shepherds were God’s pick to be first to sign the baby book. Wise Men came later, just in the nick of time.  God’s time, not St.Nick’s.

Maybe that’s why I’m stuck staring at this cactus, doing its part to shine, to carry some of that Star into this year,  scatter some darkness.   Just a sliver of light illumines a path to Bethlehem and  without much ado, anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, recognizes  life’s a prickly place, back then and now, yet God in the middle of our muddles sleeps like a baby.

Maybe we can, too.

Prickles may have their day.

Light shines best at night.

Not all stars need go back where they came from.





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  • Reply Dan Russ January 10, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    Wonderful, Jan. Grazie!

  • Reply Dale January 11, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Thanks for the sweet perspective and important reminders. The wise men and the shepherds came for different reasons, but both came to see the King.

    Blessings, Dale

  • Reply James Griffin January 12, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    Sometimes a candle is all the light you need.
    It was in the readings this week, “Perfect love casts out all fear.” I John 4: 18. These might be six of the best words in the scriptures. Look at Joseph. The angel in the dream told him to go to Egypt. The trip was financed by the Magi! Great timing.

  • Reply Alyssa January 16, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    This post resonates with me since I now live in Utah where cacti are abundant! Thanks for the reminder of light in dark places.

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