The Star of Bethlehem
“…there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him’ “ (Matthew 2:1,2).
The Star of Bethlehem has caught and stirred the imagination of the centuries. There is always a sense of mystery and wonder about the stars which makes itself felt with an even greater intensity in the East, when the night comes silently and suddenly upon the deserts of Asia. This quality of all stars attached in a supreme degree to the Star of Bethlehem. It may have been caused by the conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn or possibly more likely it was a comet with a long tail. (1) Whatever it was, it led the Wise Men from a distant country to worship the Infant Christ and the world received its earliest assurance that he was born to save, not the Jews alone, but all humankind of every people and nation, including ourselves.
The Wise Men, who were astrologers from Persia, spent many quiet hours studying and observing and plotting the stars in their courses, but the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem startled them out of their academic calm. They knew not only that a mighty King was born but that the star which hailed his Birth beckoned them to leave their learned studies and set out into the unknown to pay him their homage. From the moment the star appeared, nothing was so important now as to follow it wherever it might lead them.