Over the Thanksgiving holiday I was fortunate to view the presentation the Mystery of the Christmas Star at the Burke Baker Planetarium located in the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It presented the Christmas story very beautifully and factually, referencing scripture to tell the story. Centuries before the time of Christ’s birth the patterns of the sun, moon and stars were well understood and accurate records were kept by observers in different parts of the world. After discussing the possibilities that the star was a comet or super nova it presented the most logical conclusion that the Magi had observed the close convergence of Jupiter and Saturn that occurred around 7 B.C. As the planets travelled on their path they would appear to be very close together several times during this period.
The story of the Magi, or wise men, appears only in the Gospel of Matthew. It is simply related in the first 15 verses of Chapter 2, giving us just enough details to convey the story. There is mystery and intrigue surrounding the Magi, or wise men, who saw something so unusual in the night sky that they knew it was a very important sign of a new King of the Jews (v.2). But what did they see in the sky? The star is just as mysterious as the Magi!
Whatever the star may have been it was significant and should not be overlooked in its role in the story. From high above it appeared and the Magi saw and understood and obeyed its summons to journey to see the new king. As we enter this second week of Advent, like the Magi let us also follow the star to see the Christ Child. Believe and you will find, just follow the star!