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Follow the star

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

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Last Christmas, I followed the three wise men through a shopping mall.

When I left home with my sister that afternoon, I had no idea I'd find them there, let alone follow them through a tinsel-bedecked department store. But there they were. And they came to my rescue.

This wasn't my first encounter with those three kings. In fact, I'd been thinking about them since the beginning of last December when I was struck by the wise men's single-mindedness in following the star.

That is to say, not only did the wise men see the star, they knew it portended something wonderful. Something so wonderful that nothing, not distance, not the intensity of the trek, not even King Herod's demands, could deter them from pressing forward toward it – and toward the child whose birth it heralded.

I like the way the founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, put it: "Led by a solitary star amid the darkness, the Magi of old foretold the Messiahship of Truth" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," p. 95).

As I thought about it last Christmas, the wise men's journey came to symbolize the power of trusting the light of Truth, or God, and not getting distracted in the process. It reminded me of the reward that comes from keeping my thought poised in the messages of hope and salvation God is continuously imparting – no matter how arduous the journey of realizing those messages may seem.

But it was Christmas presents that were on my mind that afternoon in the mall – not the story of the three kings. At least, not until I made a comment that my sister apparently found hurtful, and, in response, she flung a verbal jab in my direction.

So much for the Christmas spirit!

In an instant, I felt the joy of the season go right out of me, and it was all I could do not to run after her and engage. What did she mean by that jab? Did she really think that about me?


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