As the sun sets over the horizon, night settles in bringing with it a darkness that engulfs the landscape. Our eyes narrow as we search for light in a darkened world. Our gaze moves upward finding the twinkling beauty of the starlit sky lighting our way. We journey on hoping to find ourselves, our purpose, and our God. The collection of stars together is what makes the sky so majestic.
This time of year there is one star that shines brighter than the others, shouting from the sky "Come and find peace." It is this Christmas Star we have been following this Advent with the promise that new life abounds if we search. What will you find this Christmas? What spiritual birth waits for you? What is the God of all time and place placing in your world?
Let's look deeper at the Christmas Star and what meanings this Star may have for some this Christmas.
Spiritual Practice of Star Gazing
For as long as I can remember I have felt connected to the stars. I look up and lose myself in the amazing display. Every time I stare at them I am at awe for the beauty of creation and how incredible it is. For years I would come home and just sit in their beauty until I was ready to come inside. I realized for me sitting and looking at the stars was a spiritual practice. It quiets my mind and soul, focuses my awareness, connects me to something that is much greater. So this Advent season when I look up at the night sky I think of those who followed the Christmas star and journeyed that special night to find God in this world. I am also reminded of my journey to find God in this world and the new life that is waiting for me if I choose to go.
Spiritual Birth Through Advent
Recently, I listened to a Project Zion Podcast - Extra Shot Episode 42 - about the Spiritual Practice of Advent. Minister Katie Harmon-Mclaughlin discusses the journey of Advent and what we can do to birth new spiritual life. Its an entertaining episode also highlighting the importance of spiritual practices. Enjoy the extra shot and hopefully it will help you start or find spiritual birth this Advent season.
Science of the Christmas Star
Scientists have speculated about the Christmas Star or Bethlehem Star for years trying to figure out a logical explanation for it. I think its great that people question and try to find answers with their own theological understandings. For this particular question the website 1 minute astronomers gives some possible explanations for such an event happening around the time of the birth of Christ. Check it out for some quick, interesting reading.
God In the World
Christmas is the day we remember God gracing us with his son Jesus who turned our world upside down. He brings peace, love, joy, and hope. It is through Jesus where God is revealed and love is given. I also find a resounding message through the event that "We are not alone." God's love is so immense that he continually places himself in this world if we choose to see it. He may not look like what we have known, or what we expect but he's there nonetheless. If we choose to follow the Star we come to find God. And once we find God our lives are filled with light. We realize God is with us and that we our God's hands and feet in this world. So what will you find this Christmas? How will you journey with God in the world?
Let me leave you with this great video produced by Monica Scott Music of kids singing about the Christmas Star and their journey to find God.
Merry Christmas!!! I pray that you and your loved ones will be filled with Peace this Christmas. Please surround yourself with people you love this week!
Craig Hidy like the majority of ministers in Community of Christ is a bi-vocational, self sustaining ordained minister. He is a member of the Midlands Mission Center Emporia Team and an ordained Seventy. He and his family, live in Topeka, Kansas.
What is a Seventy?
The Seventy carry out missionary work for the church in close association with other missionary leaders. They represent Christ primarily as ministers of evangelism through witnessing, inviting, and church planting. They especially proclaim and promote Jesus Christ’s invitation to faithful discipleship through vibrant witness, and train individuals and congregations in witness and invitation. They particularly minister with seekers, individually and in groups, to share the gospel in relevant ways and to invite response. They support sacramental ministries by preparing people for baptism and/or confirmation, presiding at sacramental services, and performing most sacraments. They promote community by inviting individuals, households, and families to respond to Christ’s call to discipleship. They promote justice and peacemaking by inviting people to experience all aspects of Christ’s peace through active discipleship. They create ministry partnerships with mission center officers, apostles, elders, and evangelists.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ or Midlands Mission Center. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.