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Searching for Treasure

Trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand, Henri Nouwen, Amayzing Graces, Karen May

We were driving across a featureless landscape for a long time, looking for anything interesting to see on the hike we were planning. There was nothing in sight and our destination was near.

Suddenly, the ground fell away and exploded into hues of gold, red, purple, pink, and yellow. The breathtaking beauty of the canyon was hidden from view on the surface, even though the brilliance within seemed to fill the world once we were there.

As we come to the end of the Christmas season, putting away the decorations, finishing the Christmas desserts and candies, and returning to our regular playlists, we celebrate the visit of the Magi to the child, Jesus, and I am reminded of hidden treasures like the canyon we found.

It seems wise enough to follow a star to witness the birth of a new king, especially the king of heaven. But, at the time of Jesus' birth, this treasure was not so easily seen.

The three Magi were clearly coming to find the King of the Jews - they stopped in Herod's court to inquire about the whereabouts of the birth. But when you think about it, this has little to no chance of being a significant event.

The Jews were a conquered people - one of many cultures living under the shadow of Rome. They were a non-entity and an overpowered people, yet the wise men came to honor the newborn King and offer their treasure.

I wonder how often we miss treasured opportunities because they don't look like what we expect. How often do we turn back because we don't see how close we are to our destination? How often is a stunning moment of encounter with Jesus is missed because it is surrounded by failure or difficulty?

Have you ever found a treasure in an unexpected way? What did you find?

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