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 when it rose and have come to worship him.” … 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. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary,
and they bowed down and worshiped him. Matthew 2:1-11
Matthew 2: 1-11 refers to a bright seemingly unusual star leading the “wise men” to Bethlehem to see Jesus. The wise men were similar to astronomers of our age, so when they observed this different and unusual star phenomenon they were drawn to it.
According to their understanding such a celestial occurrence signified the birth of a pre-eminent king. Perhaps they were truly wise men because they interpreted the language of the heavens as a message from God. They understood about the heavens revealing knowledge of God, though they may not have ever read these words of David in Psalm 19.
- “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Ps. 19:1-4
Compelled by intellectual curiosity and possibly faith, these men set out to learn, explore, discover and then adore.
A Star for 2020
Astronomers of the 21st century are pointing to a phenomenon in the skies that is symbolic of light and hope in these dark times. These sky scientists report that in this year of chaos and darkness that the “Star of Bethlehem” will be seen again.
Actually, this “star” is the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that occurs every so often in history. It is thought that such a conjunction occurred around the time of the birth of the Christ. It is believed that this conjunction of the planets appeared as one very intense star, and this is what the “wise men” saw, studied and followed.
Current day astronomers report that on December 21, 2020, we will experience a similar conjunction of planets which will be seen as a very bright, intense star, that scientists have dubbed the “Christmas Star” or the “Star of Bethlehem.”
True Light of Our Life
A leader in our country recently said that this winter we are heading into some of the darkest times. When I heard this statement I began studying the scriptures about light, so I can walk through this darkness. Light dispels darkness.
It is because of this statement and mindset that I write this blog and remind us of the “Star” of Bethlehem – Jesus Christ the Lord. I propose to us that these “dark times” can be full of light and hope if we set our eyes, our minds and hearts on Jesus Christ, the Light of the world.
- Jesus said … “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
God is Light
There are many scriptures about “light” in the Word of God, and why not since God, himself, is light. So if we draw near to God we will be in his light no matter what form of darkness happens to be around us.
Let’s read and meditate on some of these “light” verses. Take some time to think about these verses, savor them and think of this Light in your life today.
- And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5
- The LORD is my Light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom or what shall I be afraid? Ps. 27:1
- The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent… Psalm 104:2
- The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:3
Note: The word translated “radiance” means “the light flashing forth from.”
- He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. Daniel 2:22 (read Dan. 2:17-23)
- In him (the Word/Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.” John 1:4-9 (Note: Light in these passages is directly associated with Jesus. He is the Light).
- For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 4:6
- Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Ps.119:105
Walking in the Light
During this time of threatening darkness, I am seeking to learn to walk in the light. So I am looking to shed God’s light on my path. Throughout the scripture there are truths that serve as “points of light” that will help us through this darkness. Here are some points of light that have encouraged my mind and spirit through this pandemic.
When I feel isolated and alone, these truths help me remember the closeness that I have with God, and the constant connection to family that I have available to me within the church.
Isaiah 40:11, “He tends His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart. He gently leads the nursing ewes.”
- This picture of God as a shepherd bringing his sheep close to his heart reminds me of his love and care for me.
Psalm 46:1, “God is my refuge and strength and ever present help in the time of trouble.”
- This point of light helps me see that God is “ever present,” and my relationship with him as a place where I can find refuge and strength.
1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
- This truth reminds me that God called me to be in a relationship with him and with the company of those who believe in Jesus. So I am not in this alone. I am connected as in that connection with God and others I am called to encourage and build up. (1 Thess. 5:11- Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…”).
When I feel purposeless and like a “no count,” I turn to the light of God’s word to speak truth to me. There I see that my purpose remains the same, it is to share the light of the world and faith with others. I regain a true perspective of who I am and what my purpose is.
- Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.”
- 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
When I feel weary of restrictions I read these points of light which give me strength.
- Isaiah 40:31, “…but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
- James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
- Philippians 4:12-13, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Finding Points of Light
There are many difficulties that we and others are facing, and there are many truths in God’s word to encourage our hearts and minds. I urge you to find truths in God’s word that serve as points of light for you. Make them your own, cherish them, and then use them to encourage others.
“Star of wonder, star of light, star with royal beauty bright . . . guide us to your perfect light.”
Very applicable thoughts that will help me get through these dark days of the COVID virus.
It is going to get darker before it gets better and these word of encouragement help me to rely on Jesus and the Father as sources of light that can keep me focused, built up and energized as I go forward.