There is nothing more awe inspiring it would seem, then stepping outdoors on a quiet night, and raising your gaze upwards to the star filled heavens, and just gulping at the formations that fill up the inky black of night.
These lights that blink out their presence boldly and brightly from miles upon miles away seem to testify to the presence of another great light. They cannot help themselves. They exist to shine. Even though just one of them glowing would not seem enough to illuminate the black that is surrounding them, they care not what their fellow stars are doing, they are looking to their maker, and carrying out their purpose… that is to shine….
What of these stars?
More importantly, what of the star that appeared to the “wise men from the east” who were from Jerusalem, and of the one who was professed to be their King? These men had been awaiting their King, but how would he make himself known?
They had spoken with King Herod, and their chief priests, and believed that their “Messiah,” was to be born in Bethlehem.
They set out on their journey to seek their newborn King, but they did not known exactly where they would find him, or how. There were no road maps, GPS, or google to inquire with.
Just faith….. and maybe hope, that the King of Kings’, a Messiah, would be born.
So they gazed up high, and there they saw it… the star of the show… Was it the brightest one, or the biggest one? Their skies had to always be jet black, with multiple stars….but this star was different. It moved with them..this was a star to follow..it was a directional star.
Could it have been a meteor, which is a collection of celestial dust? Maybe it was a comet, which some looked at as bringing immenent destruction, or just a really bad sign, that something horrific was about to happen? It could be a nova, an exploding star, that would have been obvious to many? What kind of star was this exactly?
This special star that these “wise men,” had first seen in the east, now very purposefully went before them, perhaps bursting with expectation that its’ job was of dramatic importance. It may have known that it would be read about for thousand of years afterwards.. This was the most famous of stars. This star was about to present to the world, the real “Star Of the show,” the Christ child.. What a divine appointment for this little burning ball of gas!
I can almost sense it’s exuberance, as it, with great importance, led the way…to where the new baby had just been birthed.
It has been thought that this “Bethlehem Star,” was a new star, and one that the people had not seen before in their heavens.
Instead of watching Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or cable tv, people sat outside on stumps of wood, and rough hewn chairs, and simply star gazed. This may have been their community get together? It was their time to discuss, to wonder at, and ponder at their origins. What was beyond their heavens that they could only view with the naked eye? There were countless astrologers of the day, that studied the sky, and probably made many predictions.. The sky gave them information that they craved, about who they were, and from whence they came.
So this was a new star that they noticed..since they very probably watched the heavens every night.
This was a supernatural star…………..
Many have pontificated, and deliberated about how this star actually moved, and then halted over where the Christ child lay in his feeding trough, upon the dank hay.
It was a wonder, and because it cannot be exactly explained, it seems to be a particular, and a more miraculous sign.
There are many accounts in the bible of God showing himself through a great light, a blinding light. If we were to get up close to this burning light, this Bethlehem star, and look at it, I’m sure it would have blind our eyes.
This star that appeared, seemed to beckon these wise men to seek, and to follow…
Not everyone could see this star. These men that followed it were not called astrologers necessarily, although they were considered wise, so they must have known, when they saw it, that this was ..indeed….the one….to be pursued…
This is mysterious, and wonderful..and maybe quite deliberately, not able to be adequately explained…..
I like wonder… I like thinking that “ the star prophecy” is something I just can’t know…It was Mathew that told of this story in the Bible.
I have had this account read to me, and read it myself countless times, but each time , the absolute wonder of it all captivates my spirit.
What if I was one of the shepherd boys, or Mary, or Joseph, or the wise men, would I have believed, and followed? Could I just have allowed faith of my ancestors to bid me just to go? Would I have been “star struck”, and frozen to where I was standing, unable to put one foot in front of the other?
These people believed… and they acted.. they stepped forward into the future, as if some unknown force was pulling them forward with an invisible glowing rope? They had a yearning to know who they were. This must have drawn them to the manger… and to the Christ.
They were inexplicably drawn to the light shining forth from the heavens, and this same light still does ask us to follow, just as we are, imperfect, disloyal, broken, and disheveled people, with more hurts and wounds than we would ever care to admit….
We are asked to “lay down our burdens,” and give them to Jesus, yes, the baby Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem thousands of years ago, that same Jesus.. He is the one… He is the light… He is the “bright and morning star.” He is the one who is able…
Even though King Herod wanted to destroy the Christ child…he failed. He did not want to worship him, he feared him, and wanted to make sure that this baby never ruled over him…He went to dramatic extremes to ensure that there were no baby boys that lived, that were of Jesus, the baby’s age. That is worry…. The destruction that Herod wrought was one of complete terror….. He believed… he didn’t want to… but I think he did…. despite himself.
The wise men found the baby, and upon doing so, they fell onto their knees, and worshipped him. They were overflowing with joy.. they knew it was their King, even as they saw him in the form of a helpless newborn little baby.
What threat could a fresh from the womb, little baby bring? King Herod believed in the threat to his “kingship.” The wise men were warned, through a dream, not to go back and tell King Herod that they had found the Christ child, and so they did not.
They had thought to bring important gifts for this baby King. They were expecting him, of whom they had heard. They came prepared, and not just with something cheap, no they brought expensive, and treasured things.
They brought gold, incense, and myrrh. They brought themselves… They worshipped this King almost not of their own accord… they believed….They were drawn to him…
This star from heaven came down, filled with light, and would offer light to all of the world. He would bring HOPE, to all people who would desperately need him, even if they didn’t realize it.
As we celebrate at Christmas , time with family, friends, presents, and the joy of the season, the best gift ever was found in the person of a sweet little crying baby….and that baby was the Christ child…. and nothing, nowhere throughout history , would ever be the same again…