Sunday, December 11, 2022

Advent Words 2022 ~ Word 8: Star


Word 8: Star

The Maji

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to  be born.   “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for out of you will come a ruler

   who will shepherd my people Israel.”

 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.” Matthew 2:1-12

I love to walk at the many parks in our area and experience God’s creation in nature. The variety of plants and trees, birds and animals. Water rushing over rocks or still in a pond reflecting the sky. The brilliance of autumn leaves, the sparkle of snow, the newness of spring as the world becomes green again. I think nature, more than anything else, reveals God to me. I am often in awe of His creation as I look at sunsets and clouds decorating the sky. Nature often draws me closer to God.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of his hands." Psalm 19:1

 Nature is also what God used to draw the Magi to the Christ child ~ "We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." ~ Matthew 2:2.

My sister recently moved to a new house, and we visited for the first time at Thanksgiving. She is out in the country surrounded by woods. The first thing I noticed as we got out of the car the night we arrived, is how brilliant the stars shone without the lights of city life. I can imagine how a large shining star would have stood out and drawn the Magi’s attention.

God used His creation to draw these men and reveal the Messiah. The Magi were scholars of the stars and the appearance of a new star in the sky drew them on this journey that would ultimately draw them to Christ. The heavens declared God's glory! 

 "The star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was" ~ Matthew 2:9.

It is believed that these Magi, astrologers, were Gentiles, not of God's people. God spoke to these men who studied the stars in the language they knew, He spoke through a star. And that star revealed Christ to them.

 "When they saw the star, they were overjoyed...and they bowed down and worshiped him." ~ Matthew 2:10, 11

I am in awe that upon seeing a new star in the sky, these men follow it. The star becomes to them a divine calling. It announces to them the birth of the Messiah, and then, in a divine manner, they have no problem recognizing this baby for who He really is. They were overjoyed - overwhelmed with the joy of the Lord - the NASB says the Magi "rejoiced exceedingly with great joy". Immediately they bowed down and worshipped Him. They followed a star and found a Savior. 

May our response to the Savior this Christmas season be one of exceedingly great joy as well!

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