The Star of Bethlehem
The busy season of Christmas is now upon us. Since Thanksgiving was so late, and I refuse to start my Christmas preparations until Thanksgiving is over, I am way behind this year. I know many of us resent the hype surrounding the holiday as we feel it takes away from the meaning behind our celebration of Jesus’ birth. However, I find I really do enjoy the sappy Christmas movies, the decorations, wrapping presents, and the excuse to leave the diet behind for a while. These days there is a push to start everything earlier and earlier. Jeff and I do not have local families, so we are compelled to have shopping, wrapping and mailing done early, which leaves us a few days to collapse and really enjoy the season.
The decorations I enjoy most at Christmas are the lights. Whether on houses, trees, shrubs, garland, or Christmas trees, they brighten the otherwise bleak dreariness of the winter landscape. The lights represent stars, which I enjoy watching throughout the year. Man has studied and wondered about the significance of stars since their creation. Patterns and shapes forming constellations have inspired stories to explain or foretell of happenings on earth.
Dr. Mike Molnar, an astronomer and author of The Star of Bethlehem the Legacy of the Magi, purchased an ancient Roman coin which depicted a distinguished star in the constellation Ares. He was intrigued by the coin and began a search for the underlying meaning behind it. During Herod’s reign, Ares was believed to represent the Jews. In 6 BC, there were two eclipses of Jupiter by the moon. The first was in April when Jupiter was in the east. The second was in August, when Jupiter became stationary and then went through Aries where it became stationary again on December 19. Jupiter was a “regal” star, so the wise men of the day concluded the conditions heralded the birth of a divine, immortal, and omnipotent person born under the sign of the Jews. All of these facts support the biblical account of Jesus’ birth and the journey of the Magi.
We never know where a small find may lead in our journey of faith. Whatever your favorite part of the Christmas story, I hope some spark will illuminate a new perspective and appreciation of Jesus’ coming. As we celebrate the season of advent together, let our joy bring others to feel the presence and wonder of the baby Jesus through music.
Yours in Christ,