We have all heard the story of Jesus’ birth. The book of Matthew, along with all of the other Gospels, state that an angel Gabriel visited Mary and spoke to Joseph in a dream, saying that they have been chosen by God to bare a son, God’s son, and his name shall be Jesus. As we finish the Christmas season, some of us may tend to move on and not think about the story as much. As Christians, we look forward to Good Friday and Easter. But after a recent event that has occurred in the world, my eyes have been opened to so many biblically perceived events that could be happening right in front of us. What was the event that started all of my thinking? A star.
On December 21, 2020, we witnessed an astrological marvel. Scientists described this event by saying that Saturn and Jupiter happened to line up together and form the brightest star in the night sky, and this hasn’t happened in roughly 800 years. Scientist have noticed a pattern in these ‘planetary conjunctions’ and have seen that there is at least one conjunction between at least two planets every 20 years. But nothing this large or bright has happened since the 13th century, and not happening before that until close to the exact same timeframe of Jesus’ birth.
Going back to the biblical story of Christmas, we have all heard of the three wise men. The Bible describes these three wise men who saw a “new star,” or a “star of wonder” (Remind you of any Christmas songs?) as a sign of the birth of the King of the Jews, so they set out and followed the star to Jerusalem to worship him. Once they arrive, they learn about a baby Jesus from Herod, the region’s ruler, appointed by Rome. “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage,” Matthew tells us the three wise men said.
But Herod is worried by the idea of a new king, and he wants to seek and destroy this new baby. Eventually, he calls on the three wise men and asks when the star appeared. After they explain everything, they are reminded of Micah’s prophesy, that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. So Herod sends the trio to Bethlehem to search for Jesus. The three wise men also received a dream explaining to them to not go back to Herod, so they don’t.
The part that I find interesting about these two events, again, is the star. Science, who seems to relentlessly discredit the Bible, has actually proven that it is possible that the Star of Bethlehem happened on the same night Jesus was born. Looking back to the “Christmas Star,” that some are calling it, that happened this past December. It almost seemed to bring a sense of peace across the world, and it made people look up at the night sky instead of watching the news or being on social media. Science says that this ‘planetary conjunction’ happened by chance, but I think it was planned. Planned by our Creator.
I feel as though something is telling me that there is a connection to the two stars. Yes, maybe it’s my over-observant personality, but I think it’s God telling me to look around and see what is happening in this world, and more specifically, in this country. That connection is that when the first star was seen, Jesus came to save a very broken world. Yet, here in 2021, we sit, in a very broken world again, and a star appears. In a time where there seems to be two sides in a seemingly never-ending war between brothers and sisters. In a time where there seems to be more hatred than love. If there were ever a time where we would need Jesus, it’s now.
God, with your infinite wisdom and healing powers, bless this nation and this world. Bless those who are in pain. Bless the sick and dying. Bless the leaders of our church and our nation. Bless those who intend to harm others. Help all of us remember that when you come again, you will rid of all evil in the world, you will rid of all pain, and you will deliver us to your heavenly kingdom.