There is something about a star that captures the imagination. If you stand outside on a clear evening, it won’t be long before you find yourself, head thrown back, mouth open in wonder, gazing up at the stars. You can’t help it! They are like magnets! And always, there is that one star that shines brighter than all the rest – that one star that you keep coming back to every time you look away. The consolation of a light shining in the darkness captivates us.
Astrologers in the ancient East believed that they could read the thoughts of God in the stars. Perhaps God allowed that to happen on occasion, for we know that wise men were moved by the light of a shining star to go looking for the infant King of the Jews. They weren’t part of the people of Israel, but they had studied the stories in the Hebrew Scriptures. When they found Jesus, somehow they knew that this child was worthy of praise. They fell to their knees and worshipped him, giving him gifts fit for a king.
By the light of a star, the Good News of Jesus’ birth was revealed by God to strangers. The Greek word Ephiphaneia means manifestation, (revelation or showing). And so, we, the Church, enter into the Epiphany season, enlightened by the knowledge that God’s love is for all people, all nations, all races, all social status’.
In Revelations 22:16, Jesus calls himself the “bright morning star.” He is the Light of the world, shining in the darkness, illuminating the shadows of our lives, for it is in darkness that light is most needed. So many people are pining away in the darkness, looking for a sign of hope. Philippians 2:15 tells us that we, as children of God, are to be bearers of that hope – to “shine like stars in the world.” This is why we step out of our comfortable little circle of Light, and reach out to draw in those who don’t know Christ. As his followers, we become agents of his Light – like stars – bringing words of light and life and hope into the dark places in the world.
As we begin a New Year together as the faith community known as Zion Lutheran Church, may we embrace the Light of Christ with renewed vigor and joy, telling everyone we meet of the One whose love has found us – Light from Light, true God from true God.
Tonight, take a moment to look up at the stars. Whisper a little prayer of thanks to God for the gift of Light that fills your world. If you are one who longs to know that Light more intimately, know that Jesus, the Bright Morning Star, waits at the door of your heart and knocks. All you need to do is let him in.
A Blessed Epiphany and a Joyous New Year to you all! Pastor Barb <
Your sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to
you by night; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.