I’ll admit it. I’m a little spaced out. I’m one of those stargazers. I love going out at night and looking up at the sky to see the display of God’s glory.
I don’t have an official “bucket list.” But if I did, it would include a visit to some of the “dark-sky” parks in Utah and Idaho. From these locations you can see the night sky without the noise of man-made light pollution.
The First Christmas Stargazers
I guess that is why I have always had an affinity for the Magi in the Christmas story. We know very little about them, but one thing we do know is that they were stargazers.
The Bible does not tell us how many of them came, but that they brought three kinds of gifts. From the number of gifts we have assumed there were three. The expensive nature of the gifts indicates they had access to great wealth.
One night they saw something unusual; something they had not noticed before. Looking back through the lens of Biblical revelation, we know that the Holy Spirit enabled them to see it. Whether or not it had always been there or it appeared that night for the first time, only God knows. But there it was…THE Star. We now call it the Star of Bethlehem.
You probably know the narrative well, so I will not recount it here. If you would like to read it in the Bible, you can find it in Matthew 2:1-12. But this year, God has directed my attention to THE STAR.
A Star for Stargazers
Many have made attempts to explain the presence of this star through rare, but otherwise naturally occurring coincidences. But I do not believe for one moment that God leaves anything to coincidence. He is an intentional God. Never is that seen more than at Christmas. Such was the theme of my most previous blog.
That star served TWO purposes for the Magi – illumination and direction.
First it made them AWARE of Jesus’ birth. These Magi were not Jewish but Gentiles from Persia – somewhere around modern day Iraq or Iran. While they had some acquaintance with Hebrew scripture, Judaism was not their belief system of choice. People who were not looking for the Savior saw the Star, and it really caught their attention.
Once they made their way to Jerusalem, the star reappeared and GUIDED them to Jesus. The Star “went before them” and “came to rest” over Jesus’ location. Talk about miraculous and intentional! Only God could do that! Now they WERE looking for Jesus and the Star showed them the way.
What We Can Do for Stargazers This Christmas and Beyond
Consider with me for a moment how you and I can be like The Star of Bethlehem.
People today are searching for different kinds of things. Some search for peace while others look for success or security. Most are NOT looking for Jesus. The Bible teaches us that no one really is looking for God. (Romans 3:10-12)
We can be like the Star of Bethlehem and reflect the light of Jesus that is in us. The way we live can point people to the Savior. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Just like the Star of Bethlehem, we can make people aware that a Savior is born, who is Jesus Christ the Lord.
Also, like the Star of Bethlehem, we can point the way to Jesus. We can show those whose hearts God has stirred how to find Jesus. Know your story. Know how to tell someone how he or she can trust Jesus. Be the light that directs a soul to the Savior.
God is still miraculously and intentionally placing you and me in places where we can shine His light. The stargazers of life are all around you. They are looking for something and they have not clue it is Jesus. YOU are somebody’s Star of Bethlehem this Christmas.