Saturday, December 17, 2016

Advent 2016

The Star over Bethlehem


"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."  John 1:5


            At creation, stars were entrusted with a great responsibility.  God set us (along with the sun and moon) in "the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth" and "to separate the light from the darkness."  We take our job very seriously.

            We work hard and are faithful in our task.  We show up night after night as we have done since the beginning of time.  For the most part, however, we stars are taken for granted by the general public.  People just expect us to be in the sky every night, doing what we always do - shining brightly.  They don't really think about us all that much.  Except for astronomers and the occasional "aren't the stars pretty tonight!" comments, we are typically ignored.  A star can shine with all its might, but we can't make anyone see what he or she refuses to see. 

            So, as you can imagine, I was pleased when those learned men not only noticed me but seemed to understand why I was shining.  I thought if I could just keep their attention, I could lead them all the way to Bethlehem.

            And lead them I did.  It was my privilege to play an important role in the story.

            But, I was more than just a guide.  I was a witness.  In Bethlehem I joined the other stars.  The songwriter says that in that little town of Bethlehem, "the silent stars go by."  Only it isn't true.  We weren't silent.  People usually don't notice, but we can be quite a noisy bunch.  And our music is unlike any other music in the universe.  We were singing exuberantly, along with the angels, proclaiming the birth of the Savior - The Everlasting Light.  As the gospel writer says, "The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world" (John 1:9).

            That's why we shine - as a witness and a reminder that there is a light beyond us - the light that refuses to let the darkness win, that will ultimately conquer the darkness - the light that enlightens all people.  And as long as God allows, we will keep on shining in the darkness.  Because, really - who could ask for a better job?


            God, who is everlasting light, dispel the darkness that threatens to engulf us.  Give us the grace to shine your light into our world that all may come to know and love you.  Amen.


-- Gaye Rountree



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