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The Christmas Star

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea…Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews. We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.'” (Matthew 2:1-2, NIV)

Stars have been part of Holy Scripture from the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth. In Genesis 1:16-18, this part of the creation story reads: “God made two great lights–the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.”

Stars shine throughout the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament. Read the Psalms, and you will find an abundance of stars. The stars keep us connected with God and his creative power. In Isaiah 40:26, we read: “Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” It’s not surprising, therefore, that God chose a star to play a role in the announcement of Jesus’s birth.

During the Christmas season on a clear night, we can find inspiration by looking to the sky at the starry host, finding what appears to be the brightest star, and remembering the star that led the Magi to see Christ the King. Depending on our familiarity with the constellations, we might find Polaris (the “North Star”), which is the largest star or Sirius (the “Dog Star”), which is the brightest star. Even if our knowledge of the constellations is limited, viewing the stars will bring us closer to God’s creation and Christ the Savior.

There are also hymns about the Christmas star: We Three Kings; Beautiful Star of Bethlehem; and Morning Star, O Cheering Sight. The inspiration of the Christmas season can be found by going to YouTube, finding these hymns, listening to them, and being reminded of Christ’s entry into the world.

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