The app is incredible. Google SkyMap. I can point my phone up to the sky in any direction, and the application will tell me which stars I'm looking at. Pretty mind boggling. In Google's own words, "If there’s a specific constellation you’re looking for you can search through the application’s database, and SkyMap will help you find it in the sky, using an intuitive arrow system to tell you which direction to turn. When you get close, a circle will appear on the screen surrounding the stars that make up the constellation. It’s really a stargazer’s dream come true." This amazing technology has made me more aware of a marvelous Creator! I'm convinced of the Psalmist's words, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork," (Psalm 19:1; KJV).
Imagine how handy this tool would have been 2000 years ago. I can picture the wise men holding up their smart phones, searching for the star that would lead them to the new-born King. But God's plan was infinitely better! An easily recognizable star, shining in the east, that would lead the men directly to the Savior.
Their journey was long. They came a considerable distance from the east to Jerusalem. Their excitement mounted as they made their way through the crowded streets to the palace. But no one knew anything about a baby. King Herod called the priests and scribes together to do a little research. Where would this baby be born? The scrolls contained an answer, "In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel," (Matthew 2:5-6).
Cold chills must have gripped the King as he contemplated this potential menace to the kingdom. He feigned kindness to his guests, telling them to find the baby and return to the palace, so he could go and worship the baby too. His unspoken plans played out in his mind. When the wise men returned, he would send his troops to do away with this threat to his throne.
The wise men continued their journey, destined for Bethlehem. They searched the sky. Sure enough, there it was: the star that had led them faithfully thus far. "...And lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy," (Matthew 2:9-10). The star had been created for a purpose - to shine in such a way as to guide these men to the Savior. It did its job: "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh," (Matthew 2:11).
See the connection? You were created for a purpose too. Just like the star of Bethlehem, each of us is given the opportunity to shine for Jesus, pointing others to Him. Don't let the hustle and bustle of the season dim your light. Instead, choose to be like that brightly shining star of long ago, leading others to the truth of a loving Savior who was born to reconcile sinful man with a holy God.
When your light is shining brightly, it won't take a neat app to find you, you'll be clearly visible. Doing your part to make your Heavenly Father known!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the opportunity to shine for You. During this busy Christmas season, help me to be still and know You are God. I humble myself in worship of You. Help me to shine brightly, pointing others to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.