A lot of my favorite things have to do with an expansive universe.
My favorite genre of fiction? Science Fiction (with Fantasy a close second). Especially stories that take place in outer space – where there is literally no limit to where you can go.
My favorite time of day? Night time, especially on a clear night where I can gaze at the stars and planets.
My favorite place in Chicago? The Adler Planetarium. Again, because I can explore distant worlds and the night sky.
Through the years, visiting the planetarium at Christmas time meant seeing “Star of Wonder” in the Sky Theater. The presentation took you back in time to look at the night sky in the Middle East as it would have appeared at the time Jesus was born.
Sadly, the Adler Planetarium retired the show in 2010. I’m thankful I could share it with my wife and sons during one of our early trips to Chicago at Christmastime.
There are several theories what the “Star of Bethlehem” was.
Some say it was a comet.
Some say it was a star going supernova.
Some say it was a conjunction of planets – most likely Venus and Jupiter.
I personally lean towards the conjunction theory.
Regardless, I do believe that Matthew’s Gospel is the truth and there was some kind of celestial event that caught the attention of the “Magi from the east.”
They interpreted the event as a sign that a king had been born to the Jewish people living in Israel.
Somehow, someway, they understood that this king born to the Jews was to be worshiped. Matthew doesn’t tell us how they knew this. Nor do we have any authoritative ancient text that does.
I can only speculate that the Holy Spirit was using a celestial event to get their attention. When they calculated that it was pointing to a kingly birth in Israel, they may have gone through what ancient texts they had available to them to find out more.
As they were “from the East,” many assume that they were from Babylon. If that is the case, then it would be feasible that they had copies of the Old Testament Scriptures available to them – left behind by the exiled Jewish people from the 6th Century BC.
Using these Scriptures they would know of the prophecies concerning a coming king to Israel.
The Holy Spirit then used these Scriptures to reveal to them that this King who was born was to be someone to be worshiped.
The Holy Spirit can do similar things today. He can use events in, and elements of, nature to get our attention. The mystery of stars, the beauty of the mountains, the landscape of the prairie, the majesty of the oceans, or anything in nature can be used to get our attention and prompt us to open the Scriptures.
There we can read the true story of the promised Savior who would be born where and how the prophecies foretold – to a virgin, in Bethlehem, of the family of King David.
We will further read the true story that this baby born in Bethlehem would grow up to live a perfect life, die on a cross as the perfect sacrifice for all the sins of all the people of all the world, and would be buried, rise to life again and ascend into heaven.
While this story is not told in the stars in the sky above, the stars can get our attention and the Holy Spirit can point us in the right direction where we can hear this story.
That’s what Christmas will be all about! The true story of an attention-grabbing star that would be used to lead us to the Savior – king of the universe, the stars above!
©2016 True Men Ministries