“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, 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 in the East and have come to worship him.”
Matthew 2:1-2, NIV
In this Christmas Season the familiar Christmas stories are read and acted out in countless Nativity Plays. The story of the three visitors from the East (wise men, Kings or Magi) is always a key element in the drama. But as I was thinking about the story, while preparing for the Ellel Carol Service, I was prompted to think once again about which star was ‘His star’. Then I remembered what John had said about Jesus at the beginning of his Gospel:
“Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it” (John 1:3-5).
So, in reality, all the stars are His! He made them all. I showed a video at our Carol Service which attempts to illustrate just how big the created universe is. For example, our Sun is only one of several hundred billion stars in our own galaxy, the Milky Way. But then, further afield, there are estimated to be a 100 billion galaxies of stars! And the biggest known star is so big that a jet airliner would take eleven hundred years to just go round it once! And its diameter is about eighteen times the distance between the Earth and the Sun!!
It doesn’t actually matter which star it was that directed the wise men to the stable in Bethlehem – what matters is that we recognise that the Babe of Bethlehem is indeed “the Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16), bringing eternal light into the darkness of a world that has rejected its Creator and welcomed spiritual darkness.
As, this Christmas, I look up into the Heavens, and wonder at the stars in the Universe, my heart will be turned to the Babe of Bethlehem, and with the wise men and the shepherds I will be kneeling in worship of the Shepherd and the King – the Creator of all things who loved us so much that He came to be the Light, shining a torch of love into the darkness of this world and showing us the way to the Father.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for Your eternal love and extraordinary obedience in coming into this dark world. I marvel at the wonders of Your creation and rejoice this Christmas to worship You, the Babe of Bethlehem, as the Lord and King of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.