“Because of the tender mercy of our God,
the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.” – Luke 1:78-79
The other day Rebekah felt strong enough to come with me when I took Scout out for her late night walk. It was a beautiful evening, cold and clear, and we enjoyed the fresh night air. Then, heading back to the house, walking east along Holding Avenue, we both saw a spectacular shooting star trace a wide arc across the sky. I hadn’t seen one in months, and it seemed providential to us that we caught this one together.
Looking east, toward Bethlehem, pointing to where the truth lies, Emmanuel cradled in a manger.
There are, of course, a hundred such events every night – it’s just a matter of seeing one. Most of the time we’re simply not outside, not in the right place, not in the right atmospheric conditions, not facing the right way, not looking…. But isn’t it always that way with revelation?
I guess that’s why shooting stars are so special – like catching a dolphin jump at the beach, seeing a rare bird at the feeder, being in the right place when a humpback whale breaches, or sighting a double rainbow at just the right time.
As symbols of this time of the year, and especially the way God brings truth into this broken world, the star is possibly my favorite Christmas sign. It was a star that lead the Magi to the Christ child, and it is our calling as believers to bring light to the world and thus lead others into the presence of the King.
I wouldn’t say Rebekah and I collect stars, but we do have a wonderful selection amongst our Advent decorations, picked up over many celebrations in many places. This year, as we have intentionally kept our display of Christmas bling to a minimum, the occasional star here and there helps remind me that there is always a little light to point the way.
“Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.” (Philippians 2:14-18)
And what is our mission, as followers of the Living Way? It is to shine with integrity, to hold out the word of life in an offering of promise, and to invite people to Bethlehem, to meet the Christ, and to know what it is to be loved without reservation, or prejudice, or restriction.
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King. (Angels, we have heard on high)
Come and see! – DEREK