The star


            In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
            magi from the East came to Jerusalem, asking,
            “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?
            For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”
            When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him.
                           —Matthew 2.1-3

The star we follow pierces a brittle darkness.
It upsets fearful men in their towers,
it troubles the men hunkered in battlements,
threatens their systems, their powers.
Herod in his private jet rages: he can’t fly above it.
It will arouse the anger of the mighty,
who will slaughter as if to weed out the light.
Its light flows straight through tangled defenses
yet knows how to curve through crooked streets
and find seeking hearts, find souls yearning for light.
This is how God avenges, not with battle
but with light.

The little star will lead us to question powers,
to face down rulers, to follow new roads,
to honor another power, hidden from the mighty.
The star shines day and night, though often
it is only at night we think to look up.
When a new Emperor ascends the throne
we know we have seen him before, and his defeat.
If our night seems thick it is surely
the time of the star.

In the deep night the woods and back roads are alive,
so many escaped slaves are on the move,
so many angels preparing the news.
The little star that leads them will guide us,
if we keep our eyes on the light.


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