Matthew 2: 1-12
The Mission: “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.” That was the introduction to the series Star Trek for the many years the Enterprise set out…to explore new worlds, seek out new life and civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. Of course, there was more depth to that show than meets the eye, just as it is for the original trekkies we encounter in today’s gospel.
Their mission was very similar to the Enterprise in exploring new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations and boldly going where no man has gone before. Of course, it became much more than they could have anticipated as the set out seeking this child that they became aware of from the rising of this star. They thought they were making the journey to find the newborn king, but only to realize it was a journey of faith, a journey of self-discovery, and maybe most importantly, a coming of realization of the enormity of this God that comes in a tiny child.
Like our own faith journey, though, they are going to have to face obstacles along the way. The will have to face Herod and the temple dwellers who were quite content with the status quo. Despite the violence that will ensue from Herod, it was a time of peace, even if it may have been invoked by fear of him and the insecurities that he had and many other paid the price for. Yet, as the magi seek out this new world and life, they also become more attuned to that voice of God within and are warned not to return to Herod on the return. As much as we make this journey together as a community, it is also one we have to take alone. We can’t have someone “do” the journey for us. Herod may have sent the magi out to find the child, but if he wanted to encounter the Christ, he was going to have to do it himself. The mission of the magi found them new worlds, new life and civilization, and boldly went where they never thought they would have gone when this journey began.
The mission is the same for us and if we allow ourselves to enter into the experience, we too will encounter new worlds and life, but it will also lead us to boldly go where we don’t always want to go. It leads us to those places that we also perceive as obstacles. It leads us to the places where we feel insecure. It leads us to the places that we are afraid of. It leads us to the status quo of our lives, but it is precisely where the Christ child wants to meet us.
As we continue this journey through the Christmas season, we pray for the courage of those first trekkies in our own journey of faith. We pray that we may have the courage to explore the strange new worlds in our lives, which opens the door to new life and leads us right were we often try to avoid, to go boldly to those places in our lives where the Christ waits to meet us on this journey of faith.