Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Star Struck at Christmas

By Brenda Black

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a super nova or a comet or the planet Jupiter! Astronomers, astrologers, wise men, scientists and Christmas carolers have pondered and pontificated about the Bethlehem Star since 4 B.C. Ample evidence for such a phenomenon to have announced the birth of Christ and criticism to denounce its credibility abound. I haven't decided whose theories are absolute, but I have discovered some interesting facts about God's celestial lights. Twinkle, twinkle little star, we may never know. But if God tells something to glow, it glows!

“...He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:16b-18)

Stars can range from red to white to blue. Ironically, red is the coolest color, unlike what we were all taught in elementary by the color wheel where blues and greens were imbedded into our brains as the cool range. The hottest stars are blue and mass defines the temperature of a star. The more mass, the larger the star's core is going to be and the more nuclear fusion can be done at its core. More energy equals greater heat. But wait! There's an exception to the rule. A red giant star that has a comparable mass to our Sun would be typically white all its life. But as it nears the end of its life it increases in luminosity by a factor of 1,000 and seems abnormally brighter than a blue giant star that is just big, massive and hot.

In the book of Matthew 2, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem citing a star they had seen at its rising. By the time they reached Bethlehem, maybe a big white spot of a star was nearing death even as Jesus was nearing life on earth. In verses 7-10, the wise men set out to the place where the star has stopped.

“'I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.'” (Revelation 22:16)

From Genesis to Revelation, God delivers light to govern the day and the night! And the evil one who feigned imitation of The Christ and discharged his wicked plot against all mankind was on his way to being snuffed out with the birth of the true Messiah. “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12)

Christ not only smothered the light of Satan through his humble yet significant birth. He outshone him in brilliant glory when He died on the cross at Calvary and conquered the grave with His purity. Luminosity by a factor of a thousand times was the Lord's radiant beauty most conspicuous at His sacrificial death that absolutely ended Satan's hope for infinite rule. And the big, hot mass realized his days were numbered as well.

Christ may have cried or cooed in the arms of Mary on that Holy night while lifted from a manger of hay. But as a man who was fully God, he cried out “Father, forgive them!” in the middle of day. Yes! God sent His Light to govern both day and night.

“And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” (2 Peter 1:19)

“O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining; it is the night of our dear Savior's birth! Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees, o hear the angel voices, o night divine, o night when Christ was born! O night divine, o night, o night divine!

“Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming, with glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. So led by the light of a star sweetly gleaming, here came the wise men from Orient land.” (from O Holy Night, J.S. Dwight & A.C. Adam)

Look up! It's not a bird. It's not a plane. It's not a legend or lie. Christ was born in Bethlehem and sent here to die for our sins. In a flash, you can be filled with the Light of the World. What will you do with the Bright Morning Star this Christmas? Let Him govern your heart so that you might shine like stars in the universe.

This is the most powerful and personal delivery of my favorite Christmas song. David Phelps sings from the depth of his heart with the best of his incredible and gifted talent! I hope it thrills you and moves you to fall on your knees!

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