Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Signs and Wonders

And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. Matthew 2:9-12

The college I went to didn't start classes until early in October, so before I went to college for the first time, I spent September at my parent's house in Cape May Point. My friends and I had spent our August late nights watching the skies, waiting for shooting stars. We counted hundreds that August together. Most everyone dispersed, but a few of us stayed on for September and painted the Marianist retreat house together. We would spent all day on ladders then get on our bikes and ride into town for a movie. There wasn't much going on once Labor Day passed. We would ride by this particular farm on Seagrove which we called Winter Wonderland because in September it would be covered with white flowering vines. They were thick as a carpet and everywhere. We enjoyed every day we had and regularly talked about how lucky we were to have this time - time suspended and free when everyone else was in school or back home at the grind some where. We also knew that there were signs and wonders all around us, stars and vegetation telling us about the coming days.These were rich and potent times, liminal and edgy. We danced on the edge of our worlds for a short season.

September is an edgy and potent time for many. These first days of school, the cooling weather and the changing skies -everything points to great changes in our lives. Whether we are remembering times past or going to kindergarten for the first time, many of us experience the edge, the liminal experience, caught between several worlds or seasons at once. The wise men discovered Jesus on the edge of their world, not right in the palace but at the outskirts of town. The king they had come to find was at the edge with the people who found themselves outside of power and authority. Emmanuel, God with us, still finds us in our border regions, our edgy, tense moments, the times when we feel we don't belong anywhere and are on the outside of everything.

May we seek God today in the center of our edgy lives today. Many who are caught in between too much right now can take comfort in knowing that Wise Men found God at the outskirts of town, in the lowly common place, the anxiety of their border regions. We all find ourselves, from time to time, in the stables among the animals and the manure. May we rejoice to know that that is where God is found - in the midst of our lowly, day to day, edgy experience.

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