by Beth Bondurant
For someone who has never experienced the glitter of Time Square, the first glance is awesome.  Over sized pictures and exaggerated lights blink and shine almost as high as one can see. Life is depicted in various activities with mind boggling movement and vivid color.  One is almost compelled to pause... in wonder.

"The star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led the visitors from the east on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!"

On this celebration of Epiphany which commemorates the visit of wise ones from afar to the place of God's gift of love for all, we are reminded of God's amazing grace... guiding and providing ... blazing and becoming... so graciously given to those seeking and even those who are unaware.

In our hurried lifestyle, we often overlook our God gifted "calling"... to give of our best, point others to God's goodness and be willing to share all we are and have even with strangers.

During our NYC experience we learned astonishing truths about God's people 3,000 years ago from the artifacts found in King Tut's Tomb.  God is and was and always will be and it is evident in the beauty... in the purpose... in the faith of people who lived in the midst of their own Time Square in Egypt.

In the Jewish Museum of Heritage... A Memorial to the Holocaust, one could not help but celebrate the testimony and inspired strength that brought God's people "through the dark valley" of crushing pain and immense suffering when all seemed lost.

O God, help me understand the meaning of light in the darkness... of divine guidance and nearness when I wander into a throng of nothingness.  I do so want to see the star... to seek wholeness and well being... yet I get lost in the embellished movement and enticing promises... and I misuse my God gifted ability and bounty. Remind me that all gifts come from You... and are able to become shining stars for others to see and follow... pointing the way to Divine love... joy... peace and grace.  I kneel in thanksgiving when I find and feel the gentleness of your mercy ... see the splendor in all of creation that is... from day one... God Gifted.