Modern Nativity: The Star
-Pastor Holly Jo Engle-
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him.
On a summer trip to Indianapolis, my husband and I set our GPS to help us find our way. About every 50 miles, it would give us an update and let us know where to turn next. The map on the screen had a big red pin on our destination, so I could always see how close we were getting. Even though we went through some construction, it rerouted us and led us on a detour that shaved off 15 minutes! We were led right to our hotel and made it to our meeting. I was very lucky to have the GPS capabilities; otherwise, we would have been lost, quick!
In our passage from Matthew, we see the Magi using a “biblical” form of GPS. The star, which guided them to their destination, shone brightly in the sky, illuminating their pathway. Here they were, traveling in uncharted territory, looking for the newly-born King of the Jews. Jesus was their destination. He had made his triumphant entry into this world, and they were seeking his presence so they could worship him! How wonderful was it to have a savior, in baby form, already creating a stir amongst the people? People were traveling far and wide to visit the King.
It is human nature to seek something greater than this world. We, like the magi, may be searching and searching, looking for the sign that will lead us there. The star acted as a “big red pin”, letting them know they were close. Jesus became the “light in the darkness” which would save all of humanity. The light of the star wouldn’t compare to the light the baby would bring to this world.
We may sometimes become oblivious to the sign that Jesus is near. Jesus spent his whole life teaching about loving our fellow man and spreading the Good News. We may need to act like a star to lead others to the wonderful presence that is Jesus. What better way to do this than to enlighten our world with positive care and compassion? Can you become a GPS for God? Can you lead others to his awesome glory?
Almighty Father, Thank you for the star that shined so brightly in the sky that night. Help us to shine for others, as well. Amen
Pastor Holly Jo Engle serves the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Blytheville, AR. Her mission has been providing a safe and nurturing environment for children and families to worship freely. She finds hope in the hymns and is heavily involved in choirs and musical ministries. Not only is she involved in religious education, but also in public education. Her public-school experience ranges from grades K-6 with a focus on curriculum and instruction. Her favorite verse is Psalm 47:1 because it is important that everyone find joy in their worship!