‘We saw his star…”
Matthew 2: 1-2 (NIVUK)
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 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.’
The star of Bethlehem has long been a fascination for Christians around the world. Was it indeed a far away star that shone so bright that year or was it something that looked like a star? Today (21st of December 2020) there is a remarkable celestial event – a great conjunction of the planets of Jupiter and Saturn. Over these past weeks those two bodies have been moving closer together given our line of sight to them. Today they will seem to join and create a single bright star. Johannes Kepler, famous for his work on the movement of planets in the 17th century wondered if this special planetary event was indeed what gave rise to the star observed by the Magi.
He calculated that around the time of Jesus’ birth this kind of conjunction did occur, not once, but three times. Is this movement the key to the age long mystery? We don’t know, and anyway, of far greater consequence is that whatever the mechanism, a sign was provided to lead others to the manger.
It can be too easy for some of us to get so caught up in the details that we risk missing the bigger picture. God has always provided us with signs of his presence; he has always pointed us towards the way we should go. Sometimes instead of looking and wondering we need to start walking towards the wonder that God has in store.
Heavenly father, forgive us those times when our doubts and uncertainties stop us from going on a journey with you.
Grant to us instead the kind of faith that is willing to go on an adventure, that we may discover for ourselves the Good News once heralded by angels and archangels. Amen.