Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why A Star?


I will love the light for it shows
me the way, yet I will endure
the darkness because it
shows me the stars.

Og Mandino

They mesmerize us, stars - at least when we're aware they're there. Up there.

In vast, profuse array they are the stock-in-trade for astronomers, navigators, astrologers, and romantics alike. How we cherish the night sky!

As I read through a rather interesting commentary on Bethlehem's star, I couldn't help but ask myself: Why a star?

For what possible reason might God have summoned one - and just one - as His celestial compass by which Magi and shepherd alike would make their way to Bethlehem - and doing so nearly two years apart from each other, no less? What star could not only define a specific place on earth, but actually lead someone there?

Why not some other means of guidance, like a whisper upon the wind, or a talking camel, or an advancing chariot of fire. Why a star?

Theories, conjecture, and myth abound where Bethlehem's star is concerned. Many fancy it to have been a comet or a meteor. Others believe it to have been a supernova, or some strange planetary alignment - a galactic phenomenon. Among all these are those that make herculean efforts to debunk any such biblical relationship between the heavens and Heaven's Own.

Others tell us those explanations simply cannot be; that for a star to have burned from Persia in the Far East all the way to Bethlehem - all the while leading its followers along that definite course - simply doesn't line up with theory, much less science.

Remember, this star appeared every night for several months. And, though our Christmas sensibilities would deny it, it came to rest over Mary & Joseph's house; not cave or barn - probably when Jesus was about two years old. So, long after the shepherds had returned to their fields, the Magi were continuing on their star-ordained trek.

Could it be that star was no star at all but, rather, the very Glory of God - His own Shekinah?

Rarely can I answer my own questions, and this is no exception. Suffice it to say it is a mystery among the many I ponder. Yet somehow this leading - this proverbial starlit GPS system - resonates truth. We see it or, rather, Him throughout the scriptural narratives. Our earliest introduction comes with God's unique method of leading His people on their desert sojourn - going before them as if a compass; coming behind as if a protective force. We see it - His glory - in much the same way again and again as we read further.

Why a star?

I don't know.

What I do know is that, just as with His first coming so it will be with His second. And whenever I look up, my salvation - Immanuel - is near.

What good news; what great joy!

Then everyone will see the
Son of Man
coming on a cloud
with power and
great glory.
So when all these things begin
to happen, stand and look up,
for your salvation is near!
Luke 21:27-28

... the angel said to them (the shepherds),
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news
of great joy that will be for all the people.
Today in the town of David a Savior has
been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly
host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men
on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2:10-14

17 comments:

Diana said...

Jonah asked me a question last night as we were riding around and enjoying the sites.

He already knew the answer to it, but it was his own little 4 yr. old way of acknowledging the beauty in the sky........"Nanna, God did make the stars didn't He?"

Shirley said...

Can you imagine what it must have been like for those shepherds!

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

I just love the visual I get when I ponder that the star is the shining glory of God! Wow, that will preach sister!

KelliGirl said...

Wonderful thoughts to ponder. I had never considered the star all that much. Now I can add that to my ever-expanding list of things I wonder about and can't answer. Looks like we share that trait in common!

Sending you Christmas prayers and blessings...and a little East Coast chill, too.

Blessings,
Kelli

Denise said...

Awesome post.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I may not have sat ringside to Bethlehem's first light, but I sit ringside to it everyday when the glory of God becomes evident to my fainting eyes... my wayward glances, my fleeting moments of coming close to understanding how incredible his Light truly is.

I love your questions, Sassy, your contemplations and your pen. Us thinkers must stick together, you know. You plumb the depths of what I already thought had been plumbed.

peace~elaine

manthano said...

You are messing with my mind.
You are trying to make me think.
I can't just have a simple star anymore.

You know. Just like you did with word
verification letters.

But keep it up. Our brains need the
dust blown away.

God bless you.

Rose said...

Awesome post. I agree, that will preach. I think you may be right...that it was God's glory shining through! Woohoo. I love the thought of that.
Og Mandino is one of my favorite authors. I only have three of his books. The Greatest Secret, The Greatest Gift and the Gift of Acabar.
Nice to know someone else reads his work.
Hugs,
Rose

Wylie said...

Beautiful thoughts shared. Just beautiful!!!
Wylie

Beth E. said...

My brain is working overtime just thinking about this, Sassy...hey, do you smell smoke??? ;-)

Seriously, this post IS very thought-provoking. To be honest, I'd never given much thought about WHY a star. I'm pondering it now, though, and I'm thinking you're right about that "star" being God's glory. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!

Hugs,
Beth

Heart2Heart said...

Kathleen,

I love thinking it has to do with something we would see in the night sky but looking a much more brighter would definitely be like God using a flashlight to light the way and spotlighting a beautiful blessing that lay beneath it all!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

a portland granny said...

I love the verses from Luke you have in today's post It is all overwhelming to contemplate, isn't it?

Oh! the wonder of it all!!

I've been visiting your blog, just not commenting, as my life has become so busy with 19 year old grandson living with me...plus have been out of commission for the last ten days.

He's moved back to his Mom's and I'm feeling so much better and am now catching up with Christmas makings, etc. Oh joy!! I feel as free as a bird let out of a cage!!

I always enjoy your posts--sometimes they are almost too deep for me to grasp, but I always read them!! I am hopelessly addicted to my favorite blogs, even tho I am no longer posting.

christy rose said...

Your gift to us Kathleen, is making us think deeper into the depths of Truth from the Word of God. Thank you for that!

Karen Lange said...

I like that, a starlit GPS! Thanks for always making me think:) Blessings!

LisaShaw said...

Aww, can I just rest here on this message for a while? I think I will...

Kathleen, you have blessed my heart throughout the time I've been visiting your blog this year.

I am SO looking forward to all the truths, nuggets of wisdom, sassy style and loads of love and laughter combined with the chewy meat that you will share in 2010. I love you.

Merry CHRISTmas and blessed New Year to you and your family.

Nezzy said...

Just a thought from an old Ozarks farm chick but in those days the sun and stars were used as maps to guide the way of the ancient travelers. God placed a noticeably special star that was so basked in His glory that it drew those it was meant to~to follow that star! Just a thought to ponder.

I'm so glad I popped over for a visit. From one sassy grandma (I have eight) to another, ya'll have yourselves a wonderfully blessed day!!!!

Runner Mom said...

This was amazing! I too had never thought "why a star?" It COULD have been His glory--I had not thought of that either!! You and Elaine truly make me stop and think! I rarely stop, so that's a good thing!! Maybe if I did stop more, I'd be a deeper thinker like you!!! Keep on pondering, girlfriend!! I love it!!

Hugs!
Susan