…Treasure and Travel, all qualities needed on our journey. I’m thinking here of the magi, Kings, astronomers- whatever you want to call them. Even if you take their story on a mythical rather than a literal level, I’m sure we can all identify with these strangers as they set out into the unknown, discerning the signs, trusting that the star would lead them to their final destination. Maybe not always entirely understanding why or how the journey was going to unfold , but holding on to the knowledge that they were called. Their treasures, so carefully carried along with them: gold, frankincense and myrrh, symbolic of Christ’s kingship, his priestly role and a foreshadowing of his death.
The journey through Advent won’t always be straightforward. More often than not matters don’t go as we envisaged , or as we would like . ‘Life’ keeps getting in the way, we get caught up in the frenzy of Christmas prep, the unexpected strikes: an illness, bereavement or even just a domestic crisis like a broken down boiler or burst pipe! So off we go in a completely different direction. We try hard to conjure up the Christmas spirit at the ‘correct’ time but it doesn’t appear neatly to plan (Did the Magi have a bullet journal, I wonder? I think not!)
After all, they ended up returning home by a different route, having been warned in a dream of Herod’s murderous intentions. (I’ll bear that in mind when next my train is delayed!) Thank goodness there weren’t GPSs back then. Can’t you just imagine the conversation:
I said turn right at the next junction, continue for 500 miles and you will arrive at your destination. No scope for intuition there!
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
– T S Eliot, Little Gidding