When I was a child I loved the Christmas song “We Three Kings”. I’m not sure just why that song struck me so but I can remember just loving the song. Especially the chorus.
Oh, star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to that perfect light
I do love to walk outside on a clear night and look at the stars. They amaze me and I can remember looking at stars around Christmas time and wanting to see the star that would have led the shepherds and the wise men to baby Jesus.
Last year there was a star appearing in the sky in December that everyone was calling the Christmas star. My family drove down the road to a clearing to try to see this star. It was brighter than all the others. The science behind this star are two planets getting so close to each other that they appeared to be touching. They are actually really far apart but they appeared close and that made them appear to be one bright star! Astronomers call this a conjunction. But because this one involved the two biggest planets in the solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, they called this one a “great conjunction”. And because it was the week of Christmas, many people called it the “Christmas Star”.
I’m not sure if this is how God chose to form the star that led those shepherds and wise men. But think about it, they didn’t have textbooks and computers to explain to them the science behind it. They also didn’t have city lights that blocked them from seeing stars. They slept under them, they probably knew the stars way better than we do because they, especially the shepherds, possibly studied them at night and maybe they were fascinated by them. But they did know, this star, it was different. Something in them had to follow this star, and it led them to a baby, lying in a manger. But not just any baby, this was Jesus, the one who came to save us from our sins. They knew immediately that this was different. The wise men knew to follow this star because it was different.
“And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” Matthew 2:9-10
So tonight go outside and look up at the stars. And when you do, think of that baby, whose mama wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger so many years ago. The same one who grew to be a man who walked this earth and ministered, and healed, and touched so many people humanly. Then he died on a cross so that He could touch all mankind and live in our hearts. When we look at the stars tonight, I hope deep down in your soul, you are rejoicing with exceedingly great joy because you know this baby, this man, this Savior!