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Epiphany: Guide Us to Thy Perfect Light

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Epiphany: Guide Us to Thy Perfect Light

By Esther Baird, author and camp mom

Well, here we are – we made it to the new year. All our hopes and dreams of 2020 have been deferred to this year, and that’s a lot of pressure. We may need to cut 2021 some slack.

For example, the flip of a calendar can’t suddenly make it O.K. that there was no regular summer camp, no overnights on Plum island, no hikes up Boundary Bald, no loud, all-camp, renditions of These Are the Days of Elijah, or color wars. We missed it, our kids missed it, and we can’t get it back.

And that’s not even talking about the real and devastating toll on families who lost loved ones, jobs, and homes during the economic mess the pandemic created.

So, I’m trying to not hyper focus on 2021. Plus, sometimes when I fixate on things, I later (and often) learn I had the point wrong anyway—that I got tangled up trying to force an outcome that never was mine to force.

Take for example, the grand finale to 2020 – – the Christmas Star. Depending on which article you read, it either was, or wasn’t, the same convergence of planets that the wise men saw in Matthew 2 prompting them to seek out the young King Jesus.

Regardless of historical accuracy, it would be something spectacular to see in this otherwise challenging 2020 Christmas sky. It served as a reminder of hope and truth and God’s awesome power and…there was a light drizzle and cloud cover in our neck of the woods the night Jupiter and Saturn converged.

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Allanswart

That was it. I missed the Christmas Star. I couldn’t see what the wise men may have seen 2,000 years ago. Bummer.

Except, of course, as we consider the holy day of Epiphany we know that the wise men, whatever star they saw, were part of God’s bigger plan, even when their journey didn’t go as they expected either. Their arrival caused Herod to make the first attempt on Jesus’ life – – I doubt that was on the wise men’s agenda.

And yet their visit brought Gentiles to the very feet of the newly born incarnate God, man, and King. It also precipitated a hasty sojourn for Jesus and his family back to where the people had once been enslaved in Egypt. Back to Egypt? Yes, because through this unexpected journey, God demonstrated He was doing a new thing. Jesus came to retell the old story, God’s story to save His people, in a new way. This story was for all people, and all lands.

We might not have written it that way if we had been in charge, just like we might not write in rainy weather obscuring the star, and we certainly would not write a story about a global pandemic.

But God’s story unfolds the way He’s written it. Always good. Always exactly as He ordains. This new year, brimming with all the possibilities of correcting the wrongs of last year, may still not go as we plan (though we are hopeful and excited for camp!). But it will go as God plans. And like the wise men, we only need to follow where God leads us.

Esther Baird is the Director of Women’s Ministries at her church north of Boston, and a columnist in her local newspaper. Her two daughters have attended Deer Run and MRO for 7 years. Her second devotional book, Echoes of I AM: Life’s Big Questions Answered in God’s Great Name is available on Amazon both in paperback and on Kindle with an accompanying study guide being released summer 2021. Get in touch by visiting her website:




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