Have you taken the star (or other tree topper) from the pinnacle of your Christmas tree? Do you remember it signifies the star which led the Wise Men to the birth place of the Messiah, Jesus? Can you imagine yourself in a clear cold desert night gazing up at the unusual bright star wondering where it will lead?
Was that Christmas star a comet? Asteroid? Conjunction of planets? All have been suggested to explain the Christmas star that led the wise men from the east to visit the Christ child. Lee Strobel writes in “The Case for Christmas” that one possibility championed by astronomer Hugh Ross is a “recurring nova.” “An easily visible nova (a star that suddenly increases in brightness and then within a few months or years grows dim) occurs about once every decade,” he said. “Novae are sufficiently uncommon to catch the attention of observers as alert and well-trained as the magi must have been. However, many novae are also sufficiently unspectacular as to escape the attention of others.” Most novae explode once, but a few undergo multiple explosions separated by months or years. This, he said, could account for how Matthew says the star appeared, disappeared, and then reappeared and disappeared later.
God sent a star to guide those seeking Jesus before His birth. After Christ’s death and resurrection, God sent the Holy Spirit to guide not just a few, but us all. How will we follow Jesus Christ, the bright Morning Star in 2015?
The two weeks following the birth of Jesus is known as Christmas Tide. It is an opportune time to kneel in worship, celebration, and concentration on what direction this bright Morning Star is directing our lives after Christmas.
Epiphany on January 6 commemorates the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Wise Men. As the true end-point of the Christmas season, it sends us into the world to live out the Incarnation, to witness to the light of Christ in the darkness whether we are called to martyrdom, or to prophetic witness, or simply to faithful living in the joys and sorrows of daily life.
Life is rarely easy. Take Wilma Rudolph as an example. She was born prematurely and doctors didn’t expect her to live. She did, but at age four she contracted double pneumonia and scarlet fever, which left her left leg paralyzed. At age 9, she removed the metal leg brace she had depended on for the past five years and began walking without it. By age 13, she had developed a rhythmic walk, which doctors said was a miracle. That same year, she decided she wanted to begin running. She entered her first race and came in last. For the next three years, she came in dead last in every race she entered. But she kept on running until the day came that she won a race. Eventually, the little girl who was not supposed to live, and then who was not supposed to be able to walk, became “the fastest woman in the world.” At the 1960 Rome Olympics, Wilma became the first American woman to win three gold medals in one Olympics.
No matter where you are or what life has in store, follow the Morning Star!