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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Star of Wonder

“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.”
Matthew 2:1-2 NIV
I love looking up into a starlit sky on a clear summer night. Growing up near a city it was very hard to see the stars. The smog from the city plus the bright lights hung a curtain across the sky that the stars could not penetrate. When I would visit the country or go on a camping trip miles away from the city it seemed that the sky lit up and twinkled with millions of stars popping out in front of a black velvet backdrop.
I can’t imagine looking up in the sky and seeing a star so different, so bright, so beautiful, and so intriguing that it stirred wonder in my soul. What would it be like to see a star that was so unusual it begged me to study and search for a reason why it had recently appeared? Such was the case of the three magi from the east. Research and ancient writings revealed that this star was the star announcing a King. It was the star of a special baby who had been born a King. In fact, more specifically, he was born King of the Jews.
This star of wonder was placed by the hand of God in the sky to guide and direct mankind. It is symbolic of the truth that Jesus Christ came to give us guidance and direction. His birth, life, death, and resurrection have provided redemption from the grip of sin and victory over death for all those who will believe in him. In Numbers 24:17 we read, “A star will come out of Jacob” and Jesus said “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16 This beautiful eastern star of wonder announced to the entire world that Jesus Christ, the King of all Kings had stepped into our world.
During this holiday season all of us will be bombarded with thousands of lights. The lights of the mall will call us to shop. Car lights and street lights will guide us as we travel to and from holiday visits with our family and celebrations with our friends. Many towns will host a “Festival of Lights”, and we will pay money so that our automobiles can join the slow parade that winds along a paved pathway lined with electric Christmas icons. Our children and grandchildren will giggle, and oooh and ahhh, as the blinking lights delight and entertain their bright eyes while passing through this electric wonderland. Many will decorate the outside of their homes with hundreds of lights and put up multiple Christmas trees inside their home that are pre-strung with twinkling lights. All we have to do is flick a switch and our world will light up in magical delight as we plunge into the hectic month of December. We will laugh, listen to Christmas music, and sip hot cocoa as we bask in the millions of lights that surround us.
But in the midst of all the lights that will eventually fade away, let us make time, actually, let's make that – make LOTS of time, to sit in wonder as we look to “The Star”, who is the light of the world. He is a “Royal Star” of beauty who shines brighter than all the rest. He is the “Bright and Morning Star”! “The Light of the World” has come and we, who love him rejoice in Christ our Savior! This Christmas season we must make time to ponder the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ, who is “The Star of Wonder”. Rejoice, give thanks and praise God for such a precious gift!
  1. What will you do this week to make time for the King?
  2. Will you follow the star this Christmas season to the manger and worship your king?
  3. Do you depend upon your amazing King to guide you in all things?
  4. Will you allow the lights of the season to point you to Jesus?

Dear Jesus,
You are my king! I love that even though the world was basically unaware of your arrival, your heavenly Father, announced your birth in the elaborate display of a single brilliant star of wonder. Those of us who love you know the real meaning of this star. Jesus Christ, you are the Messiah, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You are prophecy fulfilled! Jesus, you came into our world without fanfare but you will come again as our triumphant King! You are my hope of glory! Jesus, I pray that every star I see this Christmas season will announce anew in my heart that you are bright, you are beautiful, you are glorious, and you are my King now and forever more! All of the glitz, glitter, and gold of this world cannot compare to your holy splendor. I pray that the twinkle of every commercial light will stir up praise within me when I remember that you are the bright “Morning Star” who brings salvation and wonder to a lost and dying people. You alone are the light that leads to everlasting life and light. Happy Birthday Jesus!
It is in your name I pray. Amen.