Recently I went to see the movie Last Christmas, because Christmas, romcom, and George Michael (what more could a girl want?!) In true romcom style it shows the courtship of a young couple, Tom and Kate. And all through the movie Tom is encouraging Kate to ‘look up’. When she does, she notices the whimsy and beauty of parts of London that she hasn’t seen before.
They were always there, but she was never noticed them. The story for Kate, in this movie, is that sometimes you need to look up from your own worries and self-focus, and notice the people, and the details around you.
I spend a lot of time in these last months of the year looking down. I look down at my shopping list, I look down at my calendar of events, I look down at the must-do traditions I have created for myself.
I wonder if something changed in my surroundings whether I would notice it. And if it did would I realise it’s significance?
The nativity I remember as a child, had the wise men arriving around the manger of baby Jesus. I was even privileged to be one of the three kings in one primary school rendition, complete with gold cardboard crown and flowing robes. But the details of the bible story in Matthew 2* indicate that these men travelled a long way and their journey likely took a number of months.
I find it amazing that these men see a new star appear and decide to follow it. Like Tom reminds Kate, in Last Christmas, they look up. They look up and notice a change in the night sky.
Yet, these men did not just notice that a new star had appeared, but they also decide to act. They decide to follow this star. They notice this change in the sky but they also believe that this was a significant thing for them.
They had no confirmation that when they got to the end of their journey there would be a king waiting for them. Still they set out seemingly on a whim and travelled a great distance. What’s more they came prepared to worship, packing their gifts for a king they had no certainty they would meet.
This Christmas, my prayer is that, like the wise men, I will remember to look up, and pay attention to the people and details about me. My prayer is that I will act if prompted and that I will come prepared to worship.