“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’
“After listening to the king, they went on their way. 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. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:1-2,9-11
Seeing the star doesn’t just happen. It has to be dark, and we have to look up. Outside at night, we might try quickly to adjust to the dark to see in front of us, to make our way in movement. In shadowed circumstances, we might fall to self-pity and woe, or complaint. We will miss the star altogether if we do not stop, turn from ourselves, look up, be still, and gaze into the black expanse.
What ‘night’ has me tripping and bumping in grouchy, angry, or touchy? What areas of my life have I let go to sloth, blame, or sour? What will it take— time, attention, a willful turn of heart– to change my focus and behold the star, the brilliant light, God shines in the middle of dark circumstances?
Will we see Christ’s star this Christmas? Will we wonder at the Creator’s heavenly splendor, His ways of guiding, of lighting our path, of revealing His Son? Will we slip away from the chaos of noise and artificial light to behold Him in silence and surrender? Will we fall down and worship? Who are we, that He would so care for us and show off His measureless love, and beauty, and grace, and power to set in place and sustain? Yet, He comes to us, and brings His light. (Psalm 8:3-4; Colossians 1:16-17)
In the thick of darkness, what are we learning? In pain, what comfort? In despair, what hope? In loneliness, what divine communion? In confusion, what clear way? In overwhelm, what shared yoke? In weakness, what strength? In lack, what supply? In hurt, what balm? What truth is He teaching, what attributes revealing? (Matthew 11:28-30; Philippians 4:19; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; 12:8-10)
Jesus, the Bright Morning Star, shines in every inch of darkness we encounter. Look for Him there! Trace His path, behold, marvel, follow! (Revelation 22:16)
“Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain,
gold I bring to crown him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
over us all to reign.
Glorious now behold him arise;
King and God and sacrifice:
sounds through the earth and skies.
O star of wonder, star of light,
star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light.” ~John H. Hopkins (1857)
Lord, keep me trekking on the journey of each day, and of my life, watching and following the Star that is You. Keep me looking up and moving forward in expectant and increasing faith, that I will point others to Your resplendence.