What present do you buy for someone who already seems to have everything they need?
Many years ago, I bought my father a star. He had always been interested in astronomy and didn’t need any more slippers, socks or chocolate so I bought him a star. He was delighted. Obviously, it wasn’t somewhere we could take him to visit, but he loved the idea of a star being named after him. So, at Right Ascension 4hr 19min. 44.5 secs. Declination +3° 26’ 30.4’’ there is my father’s star. If we’re honest, we can’t see where it is, but we know it’s there!
To have a star on the Hollywood walk of fame is seen to be the height of achievement and yet how many of those stars have faded? Who can remember even last year’s winners of X factor or Strictly Come Dancing?
Contrary to what is portrayed on Christmas cards, the wise men did not arrive at the stable, following the star they had seen in the east. It probably took them about two years before they found where Mary and Joseph and the young child Jesus were living in Bethlehem.
But for these men, they took a long journey to find a promised king. It wouldn’t have been an easy journey, yet they kept going.
Whatever their motives were, perhaps to curry favour with the new king or to just be able to worship him, when they met this little toddler, there was something about Jesus, whose parents were clearly from very humble origins, that made these grown, rich and influential men bow down onto their knees and worship.
Not only did they worship him, they handed over their very expensive gifts. Gifts which held great significance for Jesus’ life, but would also have been of practical use when the young family needed to flee to Egypt.
These men were changed. They had met with Jesus. They had found their wisdom. The star they followed led them to worship the King of kings.
Which star do you like to follow? The star of a promising career, the star of relationships, the star of celebrity or sport? Will it be like the shooting star, that fades and disappears, or will it fulfil all your hopes and dreams?
To follow the star that leads to Jesus brings us not to a stable, or a little house in Bethlehem, it brings us to the cross where he died.
He died to bring us that new life, a life marked by love, a life that is forgiven and released from burdens of the past, a life that is filled with peace that passes understanding, a life which will last for eternity and a life that can rejoice in being loved by the King of kings, the bright Morning Star.
With every blessing for a blessed, joyful and peaceful Christmas