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Where's the Star?
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

Luke 2:4-7

"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a Son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

Here we are on the threshold of Christmas. On every hand us we are bombarded by the most bizarre symbols for the birth of the king of Kings and lord of Lords. Oh, and by the way---don't call it Christmas---Happy holiday! At the same time people rush out to buy Christmas trees, not holiday trees. They purchase Christmas presents not holiday presents. I just had to let off a little steam there. I could have gone further.

Let's consider our traditional Christian celebration of Christmas. If we were called upon to create a picture of the manger scene of the birth of Jesus, what would it include? I am sure that we would see baby Jesus in a manger with His earthly parents, Mary and Joseph beside the manger.

Perhaps in the background we would show shepherds and a few cattle bedded down close by. So far we are doing quite well and the gospel accounts of Jesus' birth would confirm the accuracy of our work of art. If we stopped here, we would be safe. But we continue on and here is where we get off base.

Almost always we would paint a star above the stable and three Magi bringing their gifts of gold, franincense and myrrh. Beep! Where is that in Scripture? Reading Luke's account, we never read about a star. The shepherds were told to seek a newborn child in a manger--not a star.

Now I am sure that in a small town like Bethlehem there would ony be one newborn who of necessity was forced to be placed in a manger following His birth. It may not be as dramatic as a star, but it is what the angel of the Lord told them to look for to find the long awaited Messiah.

The Lord has done this before. When Moses was at the burning bush and the Lord told him to return and lead his people out of bondage, He gave Moses a sign that it was God who sent Moses to deliver His people. It was not the miraculous plagues, the way the Egyptians gave the Israelites their valuables, the pilar of cloud that led them and protected them or the fantastic parting of the sea to save the Israelites, and closing in on the Egyptians to destroy their armed might.

Do you know what it was? Read what God says to Moses in Exodus 3:12: "And God said, 'I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.' " So the sign; "This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger," is in keeping with the way God works. Sometimes we look for a spectacular display rather than listening to God's still quiet voice.

On tomorrow, Christmas Day, I will be continuing our search for the star. I urge you to read all of Luke 2 and also Matthew chapter 2. See what observations you can discover.

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today, trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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