Those of us who are hikers know what a cairn is, right? A cairn is a little pile of stones that we sometimes see along the trail — or maybe a marker of some sort — that marks a turning point, or a crossroads in the trail, a decision point.
If you’re a hiker you know that when you come to a cairn on the path it’s usually a good idea to let your pack down and sit down and maybe take a sip of water and eat some trail mix, take out your map and figure out where exactly you’ve come from and where it is that you’re going. A time of reorientation, to make sure you’re still headed in the right direction. That’s what New Year’s was for our ancestors, a kind of milestone, a reckoning point on life’s journey.
I can remember hiking in the high Sierras, where the stars are so bright that you can see our home (our galaxy-the Milky Way), gracefully revealing her light, which so often is obscured with our light pollution. In such moments, it is so important to stop, and behold, like the Magi long ago, to consider this journey, and what it is that is beckoning us, and what it is we are all a part of.
We, like the Magi, are walking toward you.
One foot in front of the other, we are walking
It is our very prayer to move your way.
So if you can, oh God of love, leave the light on
and the front door unlocked.
Leave a fire in the hearth and food on the stove.
And when we start to get lost or doubt our dreams,
Give us the will to persevere.
We are walking toward you, O God.
So like the parent that throws open the door,
Open the door to us and welcome us in.
Amen. Join us as we begin the new year together, this Sunday in worship!
Peace, Pastor Laurie