My mother loved Christmas lights. She thrived on anything that would light up the darkness outside. Which might be part of the reason, we always came home from my grandparent’s Thanksgiving celebration, after dark. My dad would join the long, slow procession of cars driving down Front Street in Mankato, which was on our route home. We would take in the colors, sparkles and twinkling lights of the season. Backseat squabbles would end, as I and my siblings strained to get a good view of the newly turned on lights.
There are things, as Barbara Brown Taylor reminds us, that can only be seen in the dark. Take stars for instance. She wrote in her book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, “During the day it is hard to remember that all the stars in the sky are out there all the time, even when I am too blinded by the sun to see them.”
This year, if the skies are clear, we’ll be able to see the “Christmas Star.” A convergence of Jupiter and Saturn will appear as one star on December 21. The last time it was so visible was on March 4, 1226. Somewhere between 3 and 2 BCE a similar convergence occurred when Jupiter and Venus appeared to merge into a single bright star in the Eastern sky. Some believe it to be the star the Magi saw, as recorded in the gospel of Matthew. Seeing this strange coming together of heavenly bodies, we’re told the Magi believed it to be a sign of significant consequence. So they set, out following the star, until they were led to the Christ child.
In this year of 2020 the world needs a Christmas star. We need a star of promise, a star of hope. We need in this season, a star that will lead us to Bethlehem and a savior’s birth . . . A star that causes us to be more kind, more compassionate, more loving and more concerned about our neighbors. In this troubled, painful year, we need the essence of Jesus, to be born into our hearts all over again.
“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” John 1:12
Daily Devotions and other Christmas resources can be found at this Link – Devotions for Advent to Epiphany