The Christmas Star
by Rev. Tom Gray
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.”
I’ve loved the story of the Christmas Star from childhood. Starting then, I became an avid amateur astronomer. My childhood understanding was that the star moved, cartoon like, as the Wise Men’s guide. Some celestial objects do move, but very, very slowly from our standpoint. There are, though, objects like comets, planets, and grouping of the same that have been observed from time immemorial.
The Wise Men were astrologers—an admixture of seers and scientists who existed before modern astronomy. This doesn’t mean we should reject the story. In fact, it has been seriously examined for centuries. Some astronomers today believe that there are several such things that appeared around the birth of Jesus.
So, the Wise Men didn’t have a “pointer” to follow, but were seeking a meaning to find in the movement of stars. I don’t seek the stars for meaning today, but it doesn’t mean that Creator God could have used his creation to set a sign in motion. When the Wise Men determined the meaning, it set in motion a trip that ultimately saved the baby Jesus from Herod’s murderous temper.
I cannot look to the stars without thinking of God’s marvelous creation and, that in all of that universe, he cared for us and came, God the Son, Jesus. In that respect, I also like that respect I believe that, when wise men and women still seek Him, the stars show some of that Truth.