The Christmas Star

I’ve read that astronomers have discovered that on December 21 an event will take place that hasn’t occurred in over 800 years. The planets Jupiter and Saturn will align close enough that they will appear to us like a double planet. Some others have suggested that it will appear in the night sky as a brightly shining star, brighter than any other we’ve seen. That reminds me of an excerpt from In A Mirror Dimly that’s timely…Enjoy!

The Christmas story. We’ve all heard from the passages in Matthew and Luke of the story of Jesus’ birth. But there’s one part of the story that always leads to more questions.

According to the Gospel of Matthew, the Star of Bethlehem revealed the birth of Jesus to the Magi. The star led them to Jesus where they worshiped him and gave him gifts. Many see the star as a miraculous sign to mark the birth of the Christ. Some claim that the star fulfilled a prophecy from Numbers – “there shall come a Star out of Jacob” (Numbers 24:17 KJV).

I think that there’s something far more meaningful about the Star. Isaiah 9:2 states it clearly: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2 NIV).

The contrast between darkness and light is found over and over in the Scriptures, but most prominently in the New Testament. But let’s get a bit semantic here to find real meaning. The Oxford Dictionary defines light as “the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.” It is the agent that allows us to see clearly. But darkness is not an agent. Instead, it is the absence of light, the absence of visibility. So wherever there is light, there can be no darkness. And wherever there is darkness, light will come to illuminate and make visible.

How perfect! Mankind had been in a state of darkness until the light came into the world to make things visible. And the Star was the sign of that new Light of the World! With that sign, no longer could anything stay invisible. Indeed, the message of the Gospel is that “where there is light, there can be no darkness at all (1 John 1:5 NASB).” And Jesus Christ was the Light of the World, and at His birth that light shone brightly. Neither the schemes of kings nor despots nor governments, or as Paul says, “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come (Romans 8:38 NASB)” can put out that light, no matter how hard they try. That light has never been even slightly dimmed. It shines brightly to illuminate and make visible the world. Even His death could not dim the light, for He is risen and His light shines brighter than ever! And it will continue to shine to eternity.

So the Star represents God’s promise to us: the Light of the World is ours, and to borrow from C.S. Lewis, “no darkness can ever infect our light.”



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