Poem: I want a star

Based on the Visit of the Magi [Matthew 2:1-12]

I want a star
One that takes me to the Christ Child
One so bright
Like search lights on a used car lot
One so bright
I can’t miss its illuminated path.

I want a star
That wakes me from my sleep
And overwhelms my will
In some hypnotic trance
Where I veer neither to the right nor left
But straight and narrow
And through the swinging gate
Direct to Mary’s lap.

I want a star
That fills me with such joy and wonder
That I search my heart and life
For all I treasure
And package it with bows
To give as gifts to baby Jesus…
Pat and Scott and Brent and Kent
My home, my dogs
My grandmother’s grand piano
My mother’s flute
Family pictures
Property, bank accounts
My two credit cards without balances
Even all my books.

I want a star
That fills me with such joy and wonder
That I give with utter joy
All that really matters
All to baby Jesus.

I want a star
That shines brighter than my fear
Fear that keeps me checking in with Herod for direction
My “Herod” has many names, like
“God can not be trusted.”
“This task is too big for you.”
“Loving with abandon will only burn your heart.”
“Give and there won’t be enough for you.”
There’s even a “Herod” that sneers within and says,
“What would Jesus do?”

I want a star
And sometimes at Christmas
I check the blackened sky at night
To see if one shines brighter than the rest.
A star in whom I could put my trust.

But to this date
No star appears.
That was their story
That was from the magi’s lot
And… I am no astronomer!
Now I’ve come to understand
That it’s the baby with the pull
– the star was just the Wise Men’s plot.

And so I’m here again today
Among my fellow pilgrims
Some wiser than others
Some treading water
Some come today still bearing gifts to give the baby
Some of beauty, some quite crude
What we share in common are our Herods along the way
How strange of God…
These “Herods” that have pointed us to Bethlehem
The sputters on our trip.

And so I seek a place that’s still
Where I can find that gravitational pull
That comes from my own story, my astronomy
My star is this inverted ark that gives me shelter in the storm
It’s bread and wine
Baptismal waters and praying for the dead
It’s miracles and stories held in faith, not understood
It’s children being truly children
Wrongs forgiven, the hungry fed.

And so we pray

“[O]Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to Thy perfect light.”
(Refrain: We Three Kings by Rev. John Henry Hopkins, 1857)


The Rev. Canon Lynell Walker


2 responses to “Poem: I want a star

  1. Good Stuff!

  2. How absolutely beautiful! Thank you and such a lovely way to start a new year.

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