I’M OLD, AND MY EYES CAN NO LONGER READ THE STARS. There are holes in my cloak and my memories.
But there are some things I will never forget. I’ll always remember that spectacular star. We hadn’t seen one like
it before—and we haven’t seen one like it since. It was breathtaking, mesmerizing, and it compelled us to follow.
We wanted to try to understand its meaning and the story it wished to share.
I’ll always remember that long, treacherous journey. There were 12 travellers in our caravan and 20 camels.
Oh, the stink of the camels in the relentless heat! We carried hidden gifts with us in case we had to barter for a
safe passage through a strange land.
I’ll always remember the terror in Herod’s eyes and the scribes’ quivering voices when they were summoned
before him. They spoke of an ancient prophecy—a star, a new king, a descendant of King David. Glad to put
Jerusalem behind us, we followed the star to David’s town of Bethlehem.
I’ll always remember that little family and the peace that seemed to embrace them. Although they were living
in an obscure hovel, it wasn’t difficult to find them: we stuck out like a camel’s hump in Bethlehem, and the
people were eager to share the rumours with newcomers—tales told by shepherds who had been captivated by
sights in the night sky and the news of a newborn king.
And I’ll always remember that child. His family members were poor and vulnerable, yet so loving and
gracious. We offered our gifts, hoping they would in some small way honour, protect, and bless the child.
Watching him, we knew that we needn’t search further or travel farther. The same compelling light that shone
from the heavens shone in his eyes. That kind of light is unforgettable.
The Rev. Robyn Brown-Hewitt is the Director, Youth Ministry
Diploma Program at Atlantic School of Theology and United
Church Chaplain at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.