Star of Bethlehem


p1324aw_0.jpg_creditNASAWe could be in for a celestial treat this holiday season thanks to a visitor from the distant Oort Cloud. First detected in December 2011, Comet ISON is believed to hold the potential to become the comet of the twenty-first century—if it can survive its trip around the Sun, that is. As I write, this much-anticipated traveler is approaching Mars and can be seen through most backyard telescopes.

Comet ISON is garnering attention in the Christian community for other reasons as well. Some believers claim that the comet’s path—which could take it through the constellation Virgo (the Virgin), the Crown (if it makes it past the Sun), and others—illustrates the story of Jesus. In essence, this idea is similar to the “gospel in the stars” concept that is sometimes attributed to the Christmas star. (more…)

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FEvery holiday season, a man living in the hills above my hometown lights a star of Bethlehem display. The star is over 20 feet high and, on clear nights, can be seen for miles around. Just a few years ago, an October fire tore through the foothills. My father, a firefighter, told me the house with the star was among the property lost to the flames. But despite personal loss, the star’s maker still lit the beacon that December.

For as long as I can remember that star has marked the beginning of the Christmas festivities. I see it on my way home from work and as I go about my holiday shopping. It is a simple, silent reminder of the hope Christ brought to the world over 2,000 years ago. (more…)

A couple of weeks ago Take Two discussed 5 common myths about Christmas. Last week, we looked at the significance of the wise men. This week, we glimpse at another key “figure” in the Christmas story—the star of Bethlehem. (more…)

One Christmastime, Dad surprised the family with a new Nativity scene. The set featured a stylized cherry-wood stable and a host of beautiful porcelain figurines. There was the angel with golden wings and a trumpet held aloft, Mary clad in lavender and blue as she kneeled over Baby Jesus, surrounded by animals galore. (more…)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Where stores are decked out in garlands and bows, aisles of ornaments glisten and glow, and rolls of gift wrap rise like hands to be chosen. Inevitably, tucked somewhere in the sea of snowmen and reindeer, sits the familiar image of three wise men and their guiding star.

This same scene also appears on Christmas cards, window clings, and other holiday décor. So it’s no surprise, then, that people begin to wonder what the bright light was that led the magi to Bethlehem. A supernova? A regular nova? A ’67 Nova? (more…)