I was reading 'Jesus Wants To Save Christians' by Rob Bell and came across a terminology about heading 'East of Eden'. So when Adam and Eve took the fruit and were then cast out of the garden, they went East.
I started to look into this and found it to fascinating when we consider the New Testament's account of the Magi.
These astrologers travelled from the East to come and find this new-born King, Jesus. They saw something unique and special in the stars that they were studying, within their own religion and tradition, and set out to discover who this unique sign in the sky was pointing towards.
These Magi were not good Jewish people, but astrologers from a far off land who would not have understood and worshipped YHWH, yet they were open enough to God to take a journey of discovery and find this unique child, God made flesh. They travelled from the East and discovered Jesus.
In Genesis 11 we read of how people travelled eastward and built a tower trying to get to the heavens in their own strength. When their plan failed they were scattered to all the ends of the earth. The birth of Jesus brings all people from all nations, from all backgrounds, back to God.
Humanity has travelled eastward and Jesus draws us from the east to himself to discover who God is and the beauty and truth of being in relationship with him.
And God is using the most unusual ways and the most unique signs to draw the most unlikely people to come and worship his Son. Many Christians will miss what God is doing all over the world in the most unique and special ways to draw people to his Son. Yet that is what God is doing. He is drawing people from the East, calling them from the East, just as he called those Magi, to come and be in relationship with him through his Son Jesus.
And he calls us just as we are. And because he calls us just as we are, we will be surprised and delighted by who is coming to be with Jesus. It is exciting. It is amazing.
So this year may we all see the special signs that God has displayed before us to draw each one of us from the East into relationship with him. May we all discover this Jesus, this amazing, unique, full of grace and truth Jesus, for ourselves. And in discovering him, may we all discover the abundant life that he desires for us.