After Christmas I always see a decrease in attendance at church. I find this interesting. I find it interesting because even the most devout person finds a way to miss a sunday after Christmas. Not to be fair we usually have back to back holidays, family coming in to visit, hosting parties, and trying to get back to working normal work weeks. We may even be getting sick because of all the people and running around we have been doing before and during Christmas.
This week marks the begining of the Church season of Ephiphany. This is usually related to the time of the three wise men coming to visit Jesus and Jesus' baptism. This week the scriptures focus on the visiting of the wise men. This year it struck me that the story we grew up hearing of them being there at the birth of Jesus is probably not correct. I have heard some scholars say they arrived weeks and some have said years after Jesus was born. No matter the case, the point is that they were late. They are technically missing from the nativity scene.
However, the three wise men is a story talking about people seeking King Jesus. As we all start to feel a little lose about attending church and as we begin to lose strength and will to wake up on Sunday morning, this story arises. We hear a story about people coming a long distance to see Jesus and be a part of the story. I am uplifted as I reflect on this because it is as if scripture and the wisdom of our ancestors in the faith also struggled with this and put a story in front of us to encourage us and give us strength to keep going.
I pray that in these winter months long after the brightness of Christmas has passed, your are encouraged to carry on. I pray you are stregthened by the three wise men and their story to continue to go to church and seek out the king. I pray that the story shapes you and guides you back to Christ.