"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs..." - Genesis 1:14
"Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising...The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD." - Isaiah 60:1-3, 6
There has been much discussion as to exactly what The Star of Bethlehem was. Modern astronomers have been able to calculate that at the time of Christ's birth there was a conjunction (an alignment of heavenly bodies close together) of four planets; Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn; of which the combined light in the sky would have made quite an amazing spectacle.
This really comes as no surprise to me. That such light-giving bodies in the firmament came into existence by the spoken Word of God is miraculous in itself. If they were a miraculous sign of a miraculous birth, they have fulfilled their purpose.
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." - Psalm 19:1
"The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory." - Psalm 97:6
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead..." - Romans 1:20
For God to use His creation on this first Christmas to draw men to The Savior is nothing short of Grace. And men would be drawn...drawn and guided to a small town in Judea named Bethlehem; drawn to a baby in a manger Who is The True Light of the world. They would come, and they would worship Him. And throughout the history that followed men and women would continue to be drawn; from paupers to kings to us today; drawn to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Christmas is everyday. For everyday men and women around the world are drawn to Him by the light of the revelation of The Gospel; the light of love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. A miraculous birth takes place as each are 'born again' and become a new creation in Him; worshiping Him and presenting gifts to Him...the gift of themselves as servants of the King of kings and Lord of Lords.
Jesus Christ is The Light of the world...the true Star of Bethlehem. Merry Christmas!
Other blogs in this series may be found here at CB at the following links:
That picture you used is so beautiful it took my breath away, and I really enjoyed your post.
I also liked the music from the YouTube page. How do you go about finding stuff like that...I have a hard time
finding great videos regarding the true meaning of Christmas. Any ideas or places to search? For some reason when I
search Christmas or Jesus on YouTube, I mostly end up with the "opposite" of the true meaning.
Thanks for the kind comment, John. All of the videos I use from youtube are songs that I already knew the title of, and then just did a search based on that title. You might try a search engine like 'google' and see what youtube videos they show as available for the topic you want. You might get a different and better selection that way.
When I was a teenager, The Minneapolis Planetarium started to present an annual show on the Star of Bethlehem. I really loved it and was sad when we no longer had the planetarium as it had become a holiday tradition for many years. One of the things they talked about was the alignment of the planets that you mentioned. Yes, it would have been spectacular. They also talked about what it would have meant to ancient astronomers. From what I understand, there were some rather unusual things going on at the time but as they stated, we cannot know for sure and (I liked this) they even admitted that we do not know whether or not the star was simply a one time phenomenon created by God.
Regardless, something happened in the night sky which announced to these astronomers (Magi) something miraculous had happened and they undertook a long and dangerous journey to find Jesus.
No, we do not know for sure what The Star of Bethlehem was. It may have been a one time miraculous event. But all of God's creation, even that which cycles and repeats, is miraculous!
The amazing thing is, that these wise men, Gentiles from the east, knew exactly what it meant! "Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." (Matthew 2:2)