Broadcast on BBC Radio Devon Pause for Thought 6th Janaury 2018
Shooting stars, comets, and the movement of planets in the sky have always fascinated people. We love a night when the sky is clear, the night is dark, and away from the glare of the lights of the city, we can witness the evening shower of shooting stars in a moonless night. For centuries people have been fascinated about what happens above us in the heavens.
Today the Church remembers the journey of the magi who as the resident scientist of the sky saw something occurring. What they saw is thought to have been an interplay between the two planets, Jupiter and Saturn and they decided to follow them.
The Magi left behind their summer palaces and journeyed along a way which was rutted and deep. The journey for some must have seemed a folly and the outcome at best uncertain but they persevered to deliver their gift to Jesus which we are told Mary treasured in her heart.
A few years ago with my family I walked 200km of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, also known in English, as the Way of St James. The route runs in north-west Spain to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia where the apostle St James is said to have been laid to rest. It has been a pilgrimage since medieval times but many walk for pleasure (although at the time I had to keep reminding myself that it was for pleasure we were walking!). It is the nature of long distance walks that you have time to encounter people and to exchange stories along the way. It became apparent that as we walked and encountered others we became different. Roads are good places to understand who you are and who others are.
The journey of the Magi is a reminder to us that some of the best won things in our lives do not always come easily, some of the hardest traveled roads are better done with company and some of the greatest gifts require us to risk our all.