But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 20-21 (NIV).
Did you see “the Christmas Star” this week? A first-in-800-year coincidental conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn is being called “the Christmas Star” in the US media. It’s a cool thing, to be sure, but it’s also a media creation. If you want to know the account of the true Christmas star, read Matthew 2. But let’s not poo-poo this particular event too much because of one important fact.
It’s helping people get closer to Jesus.
Jude might agree. So might Matthew and Paul, who wrote the verses the are cross-referenced below. They all speak about building up the body of believers. About encouraging each other in faith. About saying things and doing things that express our faith in this Savior who just happened to be born in a miracle, and over whom a miracle star rested.
In this depressing time, the fallen world could use a little Christmas encouragement. If a couple of orbiting planets serve to bring folks closer to Christ, so much the better.
Yes, the doctrinally overzealous Lutheran in me really does want to nitpick the media story of this ‘star’ occurrence that hasn’t happened in 800 years. If you are skeptical like I am, and if you want to stick to ‘the science’, then Jupiter and Saturn converged in 7 BC, and Jupiter and Venus converged in 2 BC. And, there was a comet in 5 BC that could have been taken for a Christmas ‘star.’ Any one of these could scientifically explain an extraordinary astronomical event that signified the birth of Christ.
Or, you know, as Matthew 2 said, it could also have been a miraculous star that God created especially to guide wise Zoroastrian professors from east of Judea to worship a newborn King in their West. After all, the original star of Christmas moved with the wise men.
Know what? None of that really matters. It really doesn’t. What matters is Jesus, and if this week’s phenomenon in the skies brought a few wayward non-believers a little closer to the Lord, then bring on a Christmas star every week! Only good can come of it when the secular media causes people to get into their Bibles.
If you didn’t see it last night, take a gander at the southwestern US sky tonight. Then open up your Bible and learn again about another miracle that really happened.
For further reading: Matthew 2:1-12, Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 2:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Titus 2:13, Jude 22
Our amazing Lord, thank You for Your signs of encouragement in the faith, for wonders in the heavens and the miracle of Your Christmas birth.
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