“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.” Matthew 2:1-2
This week in the western evening sky we could see the conjunction of the planets, Jupiter and Saturn. For the first time in about 800 years, these two planets have come together near the Christmas season. Many have given this event the name, “Christmas Star,” recounting the visit of wise men who followed a star seeking the newborn king of Israel. Matthew recorded this as a significant part of the birth of Jesus. Several issues arise with the discussion of this event.
First, was this a natural or supernatural event? Natural events occur in the rhythm of creation and explanations prove how they happen. Supernatural events occur in some surprising or unexplainable way. The “Star of Bethlehem” is debated if it is a natural or supernatural event. Many feel comfortable if they can ascribe the event to something natural like we have seen this week. Others are more comfortable if the star of Bethlehem cannot be humanly explained.
Second, this was a noticeable event. When approached none of the Jewish leaders denied its existence. The implication is that the obvious in the nightly sky had been ignored. Not everyone stepped outside to see the event this week. Many are too busy and distracted to see what is going on in life, whether natural or supernatural.
Third, everyone reacts to life events. The wise men were puzzled about location and asking for directions. The spiritual leaders were ignorant and seeking scriptural insight. The politicians were concerned about the future with troubled heart. Our reaction reveals our reference point. Those who seek answers tend to find them better than those who don’t trouble themselves with issues. Those who seek scriptural insight find reason for what happens now. Those who wish to leave God out of their life find a way reject Him.
Finally, we need to ask if God only works in the supernatural, or only in the natural, or both. If the star the wise men followed was a supernatural event that cannot be explained, it can still be a real event. The supernatural aspects of our relationship with God should blend with our daily life. If the natural conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn created the “Star of Christmas,” still it can be said that God is the one who placed them in orbit and ordained the timing with the birth of Jesus.
One fact all must accept is, “God is at work in our world!” He works when we don’t notice. He works when we don’t know what to do next. He works when we don’t agree with what is happening. The real question to ponder is, “How will we respond to anything God is doing in our world?
Our response affects more than just rare blessings. God is involved in every aspect of life. He accomplishes His purpose regardless of who we are or what we think. One thing remains, “Wise men still seek Him!”