It was a starry night, like most others, with one exception; there was a super bright star in the sky that was being used to lead some “wisemen” to the newborn King. There are many speculations as to what the Star could have been, from scientific anomalies to a miraculous display of God’s power, but however one looks at it, I believe these three things help us understand God in a bigger and broader way.
- The star was not the Star
How often do we make Christmas all about “us”? We make our lists and check them twice…(You know it’s really more than that)! We get disappointed when we don’t get what we want. We set expectations to what Christmas should be, all the while forgetting that Christmas isn’t about what we want at all…Truly it’s about what does God want?
When Jesus was born in the manger, there was a special announcement given:
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
The angles came saying there was no longer any need for fear because One had been born that was to the glory of God who would bring peace and goodwill toward men from God. Jesus was the STAR in this story and will always be the STAR. The star of Bethlehem simply played a part, yes a “leading role” but not the main STAR. Like the star of Bethlehem, we must remember that our part is to simply lead others to Jesus to worship Him. Look at what this passage says:
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2
We can see from these verses that the star was used to do those very things: lead people to Jesus so they worship Him. It is imperative that we remember our roles this Christmas: lead people to worship Jesus and not us.
2) The star was not worshipped
It’s very tempting in our day to seek to be worshipped. Not in the sense that we want people to bow down to us and say prayers to us, but it is not uncommon to seek to gain more followers, to get all the “likes” we can and to be at the front and center of everyone’s attention. We can try to frame our lives in such a way that everyone wants to be like us…isn’t this worship…and if not then it is certainly seeking praise.
When the angels arrived to the shepherds they gave this proclamation: Glory to God! Our jobs are not to receive glory but to give it to God. Sure, our lights may shine bright at times, but why? For what reason would God allow us to shine so brightly? The reason is that we might bring honor and glory to God! We all have talents and gifts but these are not meant to shine the light on ourselves but to point others to Jesus. The point of our lives is to point others to Jesus! The star of Bethlehem simply shined in all of it’s radiance and God used it to direct others to Himself.
This holiday season, shine! Let God use your talents and abilities to direct people to Himself. You don’t have to fear using your talents when they are being used to glorify God. You never know when God is going to use your light, so just keep shining!
3) The star’s light affected the future
As I mentioned earlier, the star of Bethlehem could have been several different things. But let’s suppose for a moment, it was a “star”. The largest star in our solar system is the Sun. The light from the sun travels to earth but it doesn’t arrive instantaneously. It actually takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds for the light to reach the earth! It takes the same light 5 hours to reach the “planet” Pluto! Light traveling from the next nearest star, Proxima Centauri takes 4 years to reach us! What is the point of all of this? The light that we see was sent before we see it. Sometimes we have to be faithful for years before the light is seen. Sometimes the light may need to travel a long distance before it reaches it’s intended destination.
In the same way, God may be asking you to simply shine faithfully for years before someone asks about your faith. Maybe God will take your light to a distant place but you have to wait patiently for that time and place. Nonetheless, just shine where you are and let God orchestrate things in His timing, because His timing is always perfect. He is never late. The star arrived right on time for God to use to lead others to Jesus and no doubt God knows how to use your light at the right time. Just keep making yourself available to Him.
In light of all this though, it is important to remember that one day our light will fade. Many stars we see in the night sky may not even exist any longer…(we cannot know for sure but it is possible). What this means to me is that I have a time to shine while I am on the earth. God has created me for a purpose and He has a plan to use me while I am here. As I shine, doing my best to give Him glory, God will use me to direct others to worship Him.
However, what is amazing is that the light we see is after the star is gone! Isn’t it amazing that a dead star sends its light into the future? Eve though we will one day die, we can send our light into the future. Why not renew your commitment to the Lord this Christmas season? Trust in Him and not your own understanding of how He is using you and your light. Who knows? Your light could lead countless others to worship Him long after you’re gone!