“O holy night, the stars are brightly shining…”
My wife likes Christmas music. She starts listening in October to the music that has such a good message. The star that the wise men followed is prominent in some of the lyrics.
“O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.”
Like any young couple, Joseph and Mary must have looked up to the starry night sky in wonder. Likewise, the shepherds observed the stars as they kept their flocks at night. What they saw is still visible today unchanged. The star the wise men followed indicated the birth of a king who would bring great changes.
During the time of the birth of Christ, I wonder if anyone else besides the wise men (they were astronomers and stargazers) recognized the different light in the heavens. We assume there were three because of the “gold, frankincense, and myrrh” they presented as gifts to the baby boy they called king.
Heavenly visitations also appeared to Joseph and Mary. Angels gave assurances and instructions to the young betrothed couple. These supernatural visits would continue, especially for Mary. Years later, the miraculous would almost become commonplace as she followed the ministry of her son.
Perhaps both Joseph and Mary were familiar with an old psalm that said, “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” (Psalm 147:4). This is amazing because modern astronomers say there are millions of stars. If the English dictionary was used for star names it would be inadequate because it doesn’t even have half a million words!
The wise men rejoiced when they saw the star. Many had already been rejoicing, including angels and shepherds. The star was not an omen of oppression or disaster, but a sign of hope and peace.