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  • Shawn Thornton

A Star Pointing to Our Hope

Monday - December 21st

"Hope is Here" Advent Devotionals - Day 21

Scripture to Read Today: Matthew 2:1-8


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."

Matthew 2:1-2

A Great Conjunction is when the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn appear close together when viewed from Earth. Today, December 21, the planets will appear so close together that they will almost look like one point of light to the unaided eye. During this year's Great Conjunction, Jupiter and Saturn will be closer together in the sky than in other years. In fact, this is the closest the planets have been in the sky since 1623. Some have begun to call this the "2020 Christmas Star."

For several weeks folks have been sending me links to articles and blog posts about the "2020 Christmas Star." Some point to it as merely a story of interest this Christmas season. Others have sent me the link suggesting that this is the same star phenomenon that appeared over Bethlehem at Christ's birth and drew the wise men to the infant Messiah. By the way, there is no proof that it is.

Finally, a few people found great hope in a unique "Christmas Star" that has not been this bright since 1623. These folks have gotten wrapped up in the wonder of this year's close alignment of Jupiter and Saturn. They are finding hope in this story. This star symbolizes so much to them in this year of a pandemic, tensions, and lockdowns. They insist that I talk about and let others experience the hope they have discovered as they have pondered this "2020 Christmas Star" in the sky tonight.

The Wisemen followed the star. They looked for the person to whom the star pointed. In verse two of Matthew 2, they asked the Roman appointed King of the Jews, King Herod, "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 Wisemen were never enamored or moved by the star. They knew the star was a sign. They had been looking for that star based on some ancient prophecies. They made it clear that the star was not the object of their wonder or their worship.

The focus of their wonder and their worship was Jesus, the Savior. During his December 12 and 13th weekend message on this same passage, Pastor Brian Howard mentioned how dangerous it is to spend more time on the sign than on the Savior. Let's thank God for the sign that points to our Redeemer, but let's ponder and worship Him, not the sign that points to Him.

Look for Christmas stars around your house. Maybe you have one on the top of your Christmas tree. Perhaps you will see some around your neighborhood. Go out and look for the "2020 Christmas Star." Look to the western sky just after the sun sets to see the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Nothing wrong with that. But make sure you ponder Jesus. Make sure you worship Jesus.

The signs of Christ's birth point to Him. They don't want our attention taken from Jesus!


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