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The Guiding Star and the Cunning Politics

March 19, 2012  by: Paulose  Points: 15   Category: Others    Views: 699

Lenten season takes us back to the purpose of Jesus coming to this earth. Herod of Christmas (may be a different Herod) comes again at the end of Jesus' life. Nativity period of Christianity comes to an end with Epiphany, commemorating the visit of the Magi from the east. Baby Jesus in the crib has been removed from the crib and kept along with other decoration things. So too are our hearts free from the thoughts of Christmas.


The Christian world is in the season of Lent. The Christian world celebrates Christmas in December, commemorating the birth of Jesus, and the festivity of Christmas ends in the first week of January with the feast of Epiphany. It’s all over for the time being with delicious dinners and memorable gifts. Has any change has occurred in this season of sharing?

Christmas is a spiritual journey throughout the year

Although Christmas is a festival celebrated on 25th December, it is not confined to a particular day. It is a journey of life. It is a living experience with Jesus who was born as a baby, grew into an adult, lived in Palestine doing good wherever he went, was crucified and still continues to live with us through his words.

Visitors of Christmas

Christmas is not an event to visit a church and go without any change. It is not a trip like a train journey in which we travel for some time and when our destination comes we just get down and go. Most of the people who travel with us do not bother us in any way. They too are not affected by us.

The first Christmas in Bethlehem had some visitors. The shepherds and the Magi came to know about the new born baby in two different ways and came to see Jesus. Matthew says about the visitors from the east, the three wise men who could calculate something strange and followed a star from distant places to Bethlehem. Luke narrates about the shepherds who were already in the area tending their sheep and were informed by an angel about the good news.

There were other people in Bethlehem who were also aware of the rare movements near the birth place of Jesus. The shepherds told them about the unusual occurrence. Some might have noticed the arrival of the magi and heard the rumors from Jerusalem. But they were not moved. They were just busy with their daily works and entertainments.

The guiding star and the cunning politics

Two kinds of reactions from the visitors are seen at the birth of Jesus. The shepherds were told about the birth of Jesus. They visited the child and told others about it, spreading the good news.

“When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us’ And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they saw it they made known the saying which had been told them concerning this child; and all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. (Luke 2: 15-18 RSV)

The three wise men, guided by their calculation and the star, came from far off places to see the baby. But they could not reach the destination as they lost sight of the guiding star. They had to approach the local authorities to get some information. The learned men at the court of King Herod could quote the scriptures and provide them information. But the news about the uncommon birth created a reverse effect among the politicians of Judea. “When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him” (Matthew 2: 3 RSV) The approach of the magi did announce the good news to the royal people and the elite of Judea. Their cunning minds were not humble enough to visit the child and share the good news. Rather, they plotted to kill the child and safeguard their selfish motives.

This is what happens to everyone at every Christmas. The guiding star and the cunning politics are still playing their roles in every life. Good News reaches everyone in some way. But does it bring enlightenment and happiness in sharing? Or does it provoke selfishness that prefers to participate in cunning politics and oppressing others? It has to be answered by one’s conscience.

A thought for Christmas and Lent.


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