That First Christmas: A light in the West
A light in the West
by David Hirzel 10/10/13
First Magi: The sun has set. No cloud disturbs the sky. No breeze ruffles the water.
Second Magi: All is calm. All is still. By degrees the glow fades—gold to orange, orange to lavender, lavender to indigo over our heads.
Third Magi: No star in that darkness.
First Magi: It is as if the entire world is waiting for one light to illumine the coming night.
Second Magi: There will be no moon.
Third Magi: It is the new moon.
First Magi: A new moon, a new light we know is coming, for all the darkness that now sweeps over our heads.
Second Magi: Look there! [He points] The night’s first star. It casts a glow upon the still water of the sea.
Third Magi: A trail of silver, from that one light. I’ve never seen that before, a reflection on the water, of a single star. Is it the one we seek? This evening star?
First Magi: It must be. See how that silver lane, rising, crosses the horizon’s level glow?
Second Magi: A cross.
Third Magi: A sign?
First Magi: It is the sign. It must be.
Second Magi: A light to lead us.
Third Magi: You are right, that line of rising light, it crosses with the glow of the set sun against the horizon.
First Magi: It must be a sign. To us. To we who seek.
Second Magi: As the darkness settles over the world. Do you not make it, the light, the sign spoken by the prophets? The birth of the Messiah.
Third Magi: That star was foretold to be in the East. This one is in the West. Over the sea. Above the water. It is but the evening star, the one we know well. It cannot be the prophecy. We must look elsewhere, if we are to find him.
First Magi: East. West. God has sent us a sign. It is not for us to overpower his wisdom with our reason.
Second Magi: North, South. They are all one. On the morrow, let us go and find the Child.
Third Magi: He will not be in the sea.
First Magi: Turn around. Look East. There. Behind you. [They turn]
Second Magi: Look there. Nazareth. Bethlehem.
Third Magi: The night has fallen over there. He is born among the common folk?
First Magi: You cannot say, “Look here!” “Look there!” The Messiah comes to tell us, “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.”
[World Premiere @ Sausalito Presbyterian Church 12/8/2013]