Advent: Part 4

'When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.' - Matthew 2 v 10

We see the stars as they are, due to our position in the galaxy.

The same stars and constellations we see on a clear night’s sky are almost exactly what Copernicus and Galileo would have observed some 500 years ago (depending on where on earth you’re standing).

In fact, the sky at night which we see is almost identical to the one which Mary and Joseph might have seen, the night of Christ’s birth. Perhaps with one exception…

...the star which guided the three wise men to the manger.

The star, and the Magi, only appear in Matthew’s gospel and there are only 4 references to it, all in the same chapter.

It’s described as ‘his (Jesus’) star’ in verse 2, mentioned in a conversation between the Magi and Herod in verse 7, alluded to as a ‘guide’ in verse 9 and then in verse 10 it’s spoken about in terms of how it makes the Magi feel. Incidentally, they were ‘overjoyed’.

Miracles and wonders are aplenty in the Bible. The star that led the Magi isn’t often spoken about in the same breath as other moments of divine intervention in the New Testament, but it deserves to be.

The Magi see a star and know it to be guiding them to the place of Jesus’ birth. They follow it, presumably only by night when it’s visible and it brings them joy.

Is it any wonder why the nativity star has become a symbol of hope, of moving towards something better? The idea that God will literally light the way?

It’s hard to imagine such things in today’s tumultuous world.

Whilst 65 million people are seeking refuge from conflict and violence this Christmas it’s important for us to think on their motives and act accordingly.

People don’t just leave home and travel 2000 miles if they’re not moving towards hope, or at least away from despair and pain. It’s clear that they have no choice.

Which is why this year we’re campaigning to light the way for refugees seeking a safe place to be this Christmas.

A star might not have literally guided these people to our doors, but what that star represents implores us to act.

Check out our new film and then take action with our Christmas campaign to support refugees: