Where Is This Newborn King?

Adoration of Magi He, QiRemember the character Waldo, who dressed in a red and white striped shirt, wore a bobble hat and glasses, and could be found hiding in a crowd?  Wally, as he was known originally, is the creation of British illustrator Martin Handford, who first drew him in 1986, at the request of his art director at Walker Books. The challenge was to create a character that would stand out and serve as a focal point in Handford’s illustrations of crowds. The result was a lovable time traveler hidden in plain sight and manifested in four-color glory amongst ordinary folks engaged in a variety of activities. Wally is the star of books, video games, a comic strip, and a television series. Wally’s exploits have been reproduced in 29 international versions with localized names (Waldo in North America).

The celebration of the Epiphany of our Lord invites us to look for manifestations of Jesus in the world, in our communities, and in our lives. Jesus has been hidden in plain sight since birth; more than 2000 years later he is still visible yet often obscured by the glaring light and noise of the world’s powers and principalities. His inauspicious birth was not even a blip on the mental radars of the local religious and political leaders of his day until some foreigners showed up bearing gifts for an infant king identified by a star. Jesus’ next manifestation was as a refugee to Egypt, where his family fled to avoid Herod’s subsequent acts of murderous terror upon boy babies who might possibly be a threat to his throne.

Where do we expect to find this new born king and who do we expect him to be? The pattern of our lives is that of the magi: receive God’s revelation, seek the Light, follow the light, encounter the Savior, offer our gifts, pay him homage.

We cannot be limited by our own expectations, but must allow God to lead us to the real destination of our life’s journey-to the Light who is the newborn king. Then we must allow this king to shepherd us in graceful living. The real challenge is about where one’s heart lies. It is about bringing forth what is good and spending ourselves for others. In this way we become light dispelling the darkness, leading others to the Light that never fades. When we become the light, the light goes a long, long way.