HOW TO SEARCH AND FIND GOD REFLECTION FOR THE FEAST OF EPIPHANY Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

A Bible for the Magi | Biblica - The International Bible Society

Bill is one of those adventurous little kids in the Sunday School class. One Sunday, the teacher tried to let the kids understand that God is everywhere, so she mentioned that God could be found everywhere in their homes, even under their beds. Getting home that day, Bill decided to search for God under his bed. It was a bit dark, so he got his dad’s flashlight, and going under the bed, he started the ultimate search for God.

The search was so desperate that it got his parents’ attention, who saw how he moved things around in the room. His father asked, “Bill, what are you searching for? Did you lose anything?” Bill pulled out from under the bed and said, “my Sunday School teacher got to be kidding. She said that I could find God under my bed, but God is not there.

Thanks to Bill for the courage to search for God under his bed; though he could not find God physically, God was still with him during the search. Life is filled with narratives of searching. If you pay attention to your activities during the day, you will discover that you spend most time searching. It could be your keys, watch, phone, clothing, and footwear. People search the internet for information, news, entertainment, and other things. When we go out shopping, what we do is to search for items to buy.

How to Search and Find God

The story of the journey of the wise men (magi) from the East is central to the Christmas narrative because it links us to events after the announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ by the angels to the shepherds.

The wise men could have shown up the same night Jesus was born. They saw a magnificent star and could understand that it signifies a King’s birth, and leaving their location and their trade, they came looking for the birthplace of this unusual King with one intentions, to worship him.

Coming to the land of Judea, they had the feeling that at least the King would know about the birth of this great King, but they were mistaken. Herod did not know and was not happy that a King was born. He felt insecure and asked the wise men to seek out where the child is and get words to him to that he could go and pay homage. We know he was lying.

When the wise men left, the star they saw earlier reappeared and led them to the place where the child was born, and seeing the child, they prostrated themselves and did him homage. They also gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. However, when they were leaving, they followed a different route, as they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod.

Lessons on how to Search and find God

There are many lessons we could learn from the narrative of the visit of the wise men. However, we shall devote our attention to the theme of searching for God. How can we search and find God in our day and age, especially in our world’s slippery foregrounds filled with so many distractions?

The Desire to Search for God

The word desire is stronger than it sounds. It means an intense craving or longing for something or someone. Another way to render desire is hunger for something or someone. When one desires something, the individual could go any length to have it. There are, however, positive and negatives desires.

The intense hunger to see the King made the wise men abandon everything, their family, and friends to search for the Lord. Our Lord Jesus Christ said in one of his instructions, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26). Isaiah says, “my soul longs for you, my spirit diligently seeks you” (Isaiah 26:9).

Faith and Commitment in the Search

The wise men were faith-full and committed in their search for God. To see a star and follow it can only be an act of faith, and set out to search for the King, not minding the distance, was an uncommon act of commitment. Jeremiah (29:13) says, you will search for me, and you will find me if you search me with all your heart.

St. Paul says, “we walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). Notice that the wise men did not give up when the star disappeared; they stayed in the game of searching for the ultimate. Often, in the journey of life, we go through a situation that forces us to walk away when there seems to be no reason to keep trying. Notice that the star reappeared and led them to the place. Faith does relent; it endures to the end.

The Search to Worship

Many people have various reasons for coming to see God. The majority of us come to God because we have problems, and we seek solutions. The wise men were not searching for the new-born King because of the challenges in their businesses or families. According to them, “we have come to do him homage, in order words, they came to worship him.” And when they finally saw the child prostrated themselves before him in adoration.

Sincerely, why do you search or come to God? Worship is particularly important to God. One of God’s grave instructions to the people of Israel was to worship only the Lord God and serve Him alone (Deuteronomy 6:13). In the Book of Exodus (23:25), God asked the people to worship the Lord God, and He will bless their bread and water.

Notice also that the wise men gave gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Lord. In worship, we offer ourselves completely to God. God is not interested in our material gifts but in offering ourselves as a living sacrifice, pure, pleasing, and acceptable to Him (Romans 12:1).

Moving Forward!

Wise men and women are constantly searching for God with a strong desire to find Him with deep faith, commitment, and adoration. Let us resolve to power our search for God not for miracles but to have a personal touch and relationship with Him.

More practically, we can search for the Lord and find him in the word of God. The Book of Psalms (119:105) says your Word is a lamp for my steps and a light for my feet. We can search for the Lord and find him in the sacraments, especially in the Holy Eucharist. John (6:56) says, “whoever eats my body and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” We can search and find the Lord in the people around us. “Whatever you do to the least of my brother and sisters, you do unto me” (Matt. 25:40).

As you search for the Lord, may you find Him, and may you be blessed.

Fr. Bonnie.

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