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400 Years Ago

Ball State Observatory, WA

The Star of Bethlehem is making an appearance.

Monday, December 21, 2020, it was visible again, when two planets aligned as closely to each other as they had roughly 400 years ago. This Star of Bethlehem is the occurrence of Jupiter, the king planet, and Saturn, the ringed planet, aligning in the "great conjunction." Scientists say Jupiter and Saturn pass each other about once every 20 years, but this week, they will appear closer than they have since Galileo's time in the 17th century. They are actually more than 450 million miles apart but, from our perspective, Jupiter and Saturn are just one-tenth of a degree apart, or about one-fifth the width of a full moon.

Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Baby Jesus, lying in a manger.

This Star of Bethlehem, the Christmas Star, first appeared in the sky over 2000 years ago, and shepherds followed it to the manger, where the Christ Child laid.

  • "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.

  • And the angel said unto them, Fear not: For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people.

  • For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord

  • And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger; Luke 2:8-12 (KJV).

Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Today, following a star won't lead us to Jesus.

Instead, making an effort to draw close to God, will lead us to the hope, happiness, and healing that brings true and lasting peace. This year we have endured riots, anarchy, a pandemic, shutdowns, political divisions, economic devastation, election upheaval, and who knows what is coming next?! Looking at the majestic Christmas Star is soothing and brings me a smile, but refocusing myself on spiritual priorities brings me comfort, peace, optimism, and confidence that, in uncertain times, God is still in control, so trusting him makes me feel a little less out of control and motivated to move forward in my own personal progress.

Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Have a wonderful holiday!

Stars and lights are beautiful, whether in the sky or atop the Christmas tree but I wish you love and joy this season, and hopes for a healthy, happy, and prosperous year ahead. May you continue to travel fortunate trails of success, is my prayer for you.

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