This year the Church of England’ is inviting us all to #FollowTheStar .

Like the Wise Men, we may be coming to meet Jesus from far away and we may be full of uncertainty as well as wonder.

#FollowTheStar doesn’t ask us to be perfect. It says: “Come just as you are to take the life-changing Christmas journey.”

As Christmas approaches, are we secretly wishing that, like the Wise Men, we have until Epiphany to prepare our Christmas gifts for those we love? Are we already feeling the pressure that the Christmas season can bring, especially for those in parish ministry? Are we anxious about all we have to do, about doing it well, meeting so many expectations at church, at home, in the community? Let us remember that at Christmas, God’s love for us all came down in weakness and poverty, entering a world struggling with great strain and need. God With Us lay helpless - with no gifts to give, no words to speak, no ability to demonstrate his love. And yet angels sang, a star rose, and the poor and the far-off were drawn to worship at his cradle.

At Christmas time we join with those who, when Christ entered our world, left their everyday lives and went to worship and rejoice. And the heart of our calling is to invite others to do the same.

In the story of the Wise Men, we see God’s power to Reach those who are unimaginably far away with the light of hope and purpose. Let us have faith that that power is the same today and that we can be part of that Reaching.

Let us seek for the Growth that comes when people are drawn by the Spirit to worship the King.

Let us learn together, like the Wise Men, how to give what is fitting and precious to the King; how to Sustain the long journey of obedience and fruitfulness that we are called to, so that we can rejoice at our journey’s end.

Friends, let us, too, look up from our busyness, and see the signs that tell us that the King is born, the Kingdom is near at hand. Then with our brothers and sisters, let us follow the star and worship the King. And as we do so, may we be overwhelmed with that same wonder and joy this Christmas.

With every blessing

+Sentamu Ebor: