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Christmas part 3: the star-ish of Bethlehem...

"After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was - the star they had seen in the east! It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star they were overjoyed beyond measure." Matthew 2:9-10

The infamous star has made it's appearance. The wise men have seen the star in the East and arrive in Jerusalem to come and worship "He who was born King of the Jews...". There have been many pagan and religious thoughts about this star. Even more so, with the alignment of Jupiter and Saturn coming up, the "cosmos" have gotten undeniable attention as it being the "return of the Bethlehem Star". But is it really? To understand what I believe this star was, we have to go back....way back - to Genesis.

First, we must remember exactly what Jesus' birth was - it was God, coming down to earth, to dwell with His people as a man. It is fascinating to think about some of the ways that God dwelt with men, prior to becoming one Himself: He was a burning bush in front of Moses..."from the radiance of His presence, flaming coals were ignited" (2 Samuel 22:13)...Moses, having been in the Lord's presence, face shone so bright that the Israelites had trouble looking at his face and he had to cover it up...God led the Israelites at night with a pillar of fire.

And the theme continues in the New Testament: the glory of God gives the city it's light (Revelation 21:23)... in Matthew 17, in the transfiguration, Jesus was transformed and His face "shone like the sun. Even His clothes became as white as the light"...when Saul was walking on the road to Damascus, "a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him"...Jesus said He is the "light of the world and whoever follows Him will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life".

The shekinah glory - "a visible manifestation of God on earth, whose presence is portrayed through a natural occurrence." The announcement of Jesus' birth was the single most important event in human history and out of all of the ways that God could have made it known, He made it known by a bright shining "star". Not to be forgotten, it wasn't just any bright star, it was one that moved and led the wise men until it came and stopped exactly above the place where Jesus was. Where the dwelling place of God's glory was in a baby boy. Where the ultimate sacrifice lay in a lowly manger. Where our souls were saved.

No matter what explanation, whether astronomical event or shekinah glory...this was certainly no ordinary event. To me, this was a divine interjection to the cosmos - this was God, making His presence known to a weary world that would soon rejoice inexplicably.

"...we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him." Romans 5:11


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