As best as I can determine two thousand years later, no living human saw The Christmas Star that led Magi to Jesus. In fact, only the unnumbered wise men actually saw this celestial jewel. The rest of us have had to read about it in Matthew's Gospel or in the many thousands of articles written about it. The whole thing about the wise men is tricky anyway. We've typically identified three of them because they presented Jesus lavish gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. A classmate corrected our error in the actual verbiage of their gift when he wrote what the wise men---Here's some gold, here's some myrrh, and Frank sent this. Ha! Ha! And, now, in 2020, astronomers are predicting the reappearance of this star when the planets Jupiter and Saturn converge in the great conjunction on December 21, 2020. None of us knows the certainty of this claim either.
We do however, know what Matthew wrote---
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold,
wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born
king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and
assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the
Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the
prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the
rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Matthew 2: 1-6, ESV
There's a good bit of debate about the wise men, that is, Magi. They are identified as "wise men from the east". Scholars and historians have sought to pinpoint what is meant by the term "wise men" and what potential nations are from the "east". Again, it is mostly speculation. One thing is very clear. They couldn't explain it. When King Herod asked about the star his chief priests and best scribes quoted a distortion of an Old Testament prophesy, which reads---
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is
from of old, from ancient days.
Micah 5: 2, ESV
One phrase registers strongly for me now, in 2020. It is the closing sentence of the verse they were seeking to repeat---"whose coming forth is from old, from ancient days". It is the clear reminder that The Christmas Star was the pronouncement that our God has a plan. Right now The Christmas Star is telling the 2020 world that God is working his redemptive plan in history.
Most of us will agree that 2020 has been a challenging year in many respects. Covid-19, the election, and hundreds of other odd occurrences during 2020 have introduced uncertainty and confusion in our population. To know that our God has a plan brings comfort, hope, and peace into our lives. That Christmas Star announces that the God of all things has accomplished his purpose in the birth and life of Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote further---
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born
under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive
adoption as sons.
Galatians 4: 4, ESV
And, we humans surely need redemption and adoption as sons. For me, the star talk that happened two thousand years ago is that our God is working in history, and fulfilled that redemptive plan in the birth of Jesus, our Lord.
And, like those wise men, we should rejoice exceedingly with great joy. Its star talk that our God has a plan.
Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_albund'>albund / 123RF Stock Photo</a>