After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. Matthew 2:9-10
Happy New Year and may this new year be the kind of blessing to you that the Star of Bethlehem was to the Magi. For decades, the world has been trying to explain that blessing, explain the Star to find some justification for it. In 2021, there was a convergence of planets where they shone brightly, as if they were a single star. Scientists and the media called it “the star of Bethlehem” and said that such rare convergences happen roughly once every 20 years, and rarely that brilliant. According to them, that might explain the miraculous star from around the time of the birth of Christ. No word from science to explain how the biblical star actually moved.
My explanation: whatever. Putting one’s faith in the truth of the Bible isn’t something that requires empirical proof. You believe it’s true (because your heart tells you so), or you don’t. If you don’t, keep trying. Keep trying to believe, or just keep trying to find out proof. As with the Magi, perhaps the science will lead you to the kind of faith they found when they followed the miraculous moving star.
Every year, my wife displays her nativity collection. At last count, she has over 50 of them, literally from all over the world. One from a village in east Africa; another from an Indian reservation in Oklahoma, one from Oberammergau, where the Passion Play is held, several from Israel; others made in China, from Hallmark stores, and some that are materially worth little but are worth much more to her. Because she enjoys them. Because they’re pretty. Because, every time she looks at them, she remembers the story of the birth of Jesus and how celebrities from the Near East and shepherds from nearby fields both came to worship Him.
Because they had seen the Star.
We all occasionally ask God for signs. “Show me a sign, Lord, and I’ll know what to do.” Yet, when He does show us the signs, do we follow through? The wise men did. They studied the Jewish Scriptures, and looked for miraculous proofs all around them, and then they found one. So, they followed it. They followed it until it brought them face to face with the Son of God.
That’s my prayer for you, and me, and each of us, this year. May God give us the wisdom to heed His Word and signs so that He might bring us face to face with the Son of God. That we might worship Him, too.
For more reading: Matthew 2:11
Lord God, bless this new year. Teach me to heed Your holy Word and signs you give so that I might know Your holy Son.