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Saturday, December 20, 2008

S: Advent Cosmic Adventure

So, what will the letter 'S' have to offer us today? Snow, sleigh rides, Santa?... None of them. It is going to be quite a cosmic offering that may very well boggle your mind! So, let us hear for...
Star! Ok, apart from the Christ child who is the main star of the coming Christmas celebration, the star here points to an object that is both enigmatic and fascinating. In some ways, it also give us a sense of the immensity of space and time which our puny minds may not be able to grasp even after a quick and dirty guide to any astronomy or physics manual/text books.

I am refering here to the Christmas Star of Bethlehem!

As universetoday puts it: "Regardless of your faith, the story of the 'Star of Bethlehem' is one of the most powerful and enigmatic symbols of Christianity. For centuries, scientists, scholars and historians have debated about the nature of this biblical light that heralded an event. Was it purely a divine sign, created miraculously to mark a special birth? Or was it an astronomical event in its own right?..." It is still a debatable issue and there are many who go with the theory, as there are many who would disagree. The full story (and comments) can be found here.

Our purpose, however, is not to figure out what that Star is originally, but more importantly to figure out what it is saying to us to day and how much we are willing to be led by it. Why do I say that? One of the incongruities that arise from this Star is that, it went before the Magi and led them directly from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. This is a distance of about six miles, in a direction from north to south. However, every natural object in the sky moves from east to west due to the earth's rotation. It also is difficult to imagine how a natural light could lead the way to a particular place of Jesus' birth. What this can come down too is: the Star of Bethlehem cannot be naturally explained by science, it was a temporary and supernatural light. After all, the first Christmas was a time of miracles, right?...

You may still not agree with all of this. That is alright. However, there is still this question of being led by 'the Star' to encounter the Christ in our lives today. God, in the past, has used different means and ways to help guide his people. He has not given up in guiding His people today in the varied means that are naturally and supernaturally open to God and how He chooses to appropriate them. The real mystery today is not about the origin of the star. It is really the question of why the Magi were chosen to follow the light to the Messiah and why we are given the same invitation today...

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