The Star of Bethlehem
By Karen Riobo
After their audience with the king, they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. Matthew 2,9
The same joy that the Magi experienced two millennia ago we will be able to enjoy as well. On December 21, 2020 (4 days before Christmas Day), the world will witness a rare event in the night sky that has not been seen in almost eight centuries, that’s 800 years ago.
According to experts, the famous Star of Bethlehem is not one star but the alignment of different planets or conjunction. It is believed that this happened on the night Jesus was born. Jupiter and Saturn will align again on December 21 to create the “Christmas Star” or “Star of Bethlehem.” In reality, the planets will be 0.1 degrees apart, it will just look like they are together as one to viewers on Earth, and you will not want to miss it.
What happened 800 years ago?
Although there is a big debate as to when and what the Star of Bethlehem was, a supernova, or planet conjunction, we as Christians believe in the story of the Gospel of Matthew; There was a star that followed the Magi and rested above the manger to point out that something extraordinary had happened that night.
Rick Larson, an expert on the biblical Star of Bethlehem, explains that what the Magi likely saw were “five astronomical conjunctions that took place over a span of time from August of 3 BC to June of 2 BC. The conjunctions involved the constellation Leo the Lion, the planet Venus, the planet Jupiter and the star Regulus. To the Babylonians, the Lion represented Israel. Venus was motherhood. Jupiter stood for fatherhood or kingship. And Regulus symbolized royalty”. This gives us clues as to why the Magi understood a King was born and needed to pay homage.
Jesus is the Star of Bethlehem
This phenomenon is a gift from God to us in this challenging year for all. To be able to marvel at His perfect creation and experience the joy of finding Jesus, as the Magi did, is the greatest gift. God showed these astrologers His power, and their lives must have changed. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way. Matthew 2,12. They left by another way because they were just not the same after meeting the King of Kings, Jesus Our Saviour! The promise of His coming was fulfilled.
Advent is an opportunity for us to remember that He will come again, in the waiting, Jesus Himself becomes the Star of Bethlehem, guiding our footsteps and rerouting us to his holy and tender heart every day.
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