Advent Devotional for Monday, December 17, 2018

Christmas Character: The Star

Suggested reading: Matthew 1-12; Matthew 2:1-2 (KJV)

“Everything Old is New Again!”

Is the “star” a character of Christmas? Today, few Christmas trees are complete without a star at the top or elsewhere in its branches. No nativity scene is complete without a star hanging over it. We know the “Star of the East” had the ability (power?) to attract, lead, and guide. That suggests that it may be a type of character. That may not be as unusual as it seems on the surface.

Think about the “star” in the context of the Magi. These were wise men (or seers) from a Median tribe in Persia who interpreted dreams and acted as priests. After an unsuccessful rebellion against the Persians, the Magi became a priestly tribe much like the Levites of Israel.

They undoubtedly became familiar with the Jewish hope of a Messiah while Israel was under Persian rule (539-332 BC). Matthew shows that Jesus fulfilled messianic expectations concerning both the place of his birth, Bethlehem, and the bearing of gifts. The Magi discovered by faith that which was missed by Herod and the religious leaders of Judaism, who possessed the scriptures.

But is the “star” being missed today in a very similar way? Scholars and scientists have all manner of knowledge…. but, taking it to its logical extreme….they are not seeing that “everything old is new again.” What is unusual about being guided by “a star” when GPS devices dominate present day drivers? An individual can speak a question to his phone and out of nowhere comes an answer. And how about self-driving automobiles? “Star” driven devices are everywhere! But no one seems to make the connection.

Think of the “star” in light of our computer world. We are told to “pray in Jesus’s name.” That’s the send button. We wonder about “storing up treasures in heaven,” but think nothing unusual about storing all manner of things in the Cloud. Computers can teach us a lot about the “star” and the message.

It’s been a long time since “The Star of the East,” but we are still drawn to the “stars.” “Twinkle, twinkle, little star,” our children learn early. We sing in church about the “Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright.” And we ever boast that the “stars at night are big and bright” here in Texas.

Will you ever think of the star in the same way again? “Everything old is new again.”

Is the star a character of Christmas? The decision is yours.

Sharon Colson