On December 21, 2020 around 5:30 PM, an amazing astronomical event will take place. It is the first time this event has occurred since the year 1226 AD. This event is known as the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, alternatively known as the “Christmas Star” or the “Star of Bethlehem”.
This will be the closest orbital alignment of these two planets in nearly 400 years. And, in fact, when these two planets converge on December 21st, it will be the first time in 800 years that they will appear as a bright point of light that’s easily visible in the night sky with the human eye.
December 21st is also the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere, known as the winter solstice, and it will be the longest night of the year. These two events happening on the same night is a very rare occurrence and a great chance to give people the opportunity to view this amazing light in the night sky.
As beautiful and wondrous as this event will be for stargazers, and as amazing as it is for evidence of the orderly, predictable design of the cosmos, there is a greater “Star of Bethlehem” that we can fix our gaze on with even more amazement and wonder. His given name is Jesus, son of Joseph. He was born in the little town of Bethlehem just over 2,000 years ago and his star shines forth into this dark world as a beacon of hope.
Being born in a stable, he was raised in a humble family and trained by his father to be a carpenter. He grew in wisdom, knowledge and the favor of God and men. Then, when he was around the age of 30, he walked the paths in and around Palestine, teaching, healing, performing many signs, wonders, and miracles, such as raising the dead, healing the blind, forgiving sinners, and calling people to come to him and enter into a right relationship with God. (Luke 2 & 3)
He was hated by the religious leaders, betrayed by one of his own disciples with a kiss, and was hung on a cross after being tortured almost to the point of death. While going through this horrible process, he looked at the people around him who were mocking him and blessed them, asking God to forgive them. He died, was pierced in the side by the spear of a Roman soldier, and was buried by two of his disciples in a borrowed tomb. However, three days later, on Sunday morning, he rose from death. (1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
He appeared to many of his followers after his resurrection and left them with a mission before he returned to his father in heaven. That mission was to take his light into the world and proclaim his message of love, forgiveness and healing. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Our prayer for you this season is that you will be blessed with peace, joy, comfort and abundant love, finding the source of all of these things in this great “Star of Bethlehem”, the Lord Jesus.
We invite you to come and see this Jesus, son of Joseph, Immanuel, the son of God, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of lords, the King of kings, and even more humbling, the friend of sinners.
“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’ . . . And he (Herod) sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.’
“After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:1-2, 8-11)