Stars seem to be a topic of great interest these days. From movie theaters to churches, they highlight many conversations, and usually come with some questions and speculation. The Star of Bethlehem is no different. What led the wise men from distant lands to the land of Israel? Was it an actual star or a comet, and why didn’t other people pay attention to it?
My pastor proposed today that it is not the star itself that is important, but its function: it led people to Jesus.
To begin with, they had to know the significance of this star. They looked to prophesy. And to finish the journey, they needed Micah 5 that held the key to locating Jesus.
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.
3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel.
4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
5 And he shall be their peace.“
Bethlehem was overshadowed by Jerusalem (like a zipcode suburb today), but God used this simple place as the location of an extraordinary event in history. And people from distant lands came to see it. They were also looking for a savior, a ruler, someone to bring peace. And they found a baby. But when they saw Him, they knelt to worship (see Matthew 2).
Sometimes God uses extraordinary events to point us back to simple truths: He is still in control, He is still God, and He is at work! And if Jesus is the Light of the world, and He is working in our lives, we should be stars to those around us. Sometimes the Light is easy to see, sometimes we will be quietly shining, but our goal should always be to lead people back to Jesus.
God, thank You for the light. Thank You for guidance, truth, things we can know as sure. Thank You for the guidance You give in Your word. Please help me to see the extraordinary ways You are working in my life that seems mundane. And please help me to point people back to You. Amen.