The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
The little town we live in, Mazomanie, has a long-standing tradition. On the tallest hill on the edge of town, a star is lit the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It continues to be lit through the holidays. For many in the area, it is a perpetual symbol of Christmas.
This year, the star glows especially bright in the night air. It was refurbished with LED lights. It seems that the aura from this star is a bit more and can be seen from a bit farther this year.
A couple of weeks ago, I came home in the evening. It was dark. The moon was near full. A cloud covered part of the moon. As I stood looking at the moon, just to the right was the brightly light star on the hill. Unfortunately, I did not take the time to take my camera outside and capture the stunning sight.
This is the time of year when those of us in the northern hemisphere have the shortest amount of daylight in a day. We’re not really sure what the exact date of Jesus’ birthday was. Some speculate that it could be this time of the year, as the nightly stars would have had the longest time to be visible for the magi to follow.
Personally, the exact date of Jesus’ birth is not nearly as significant as the mere fact he was born. At the time of his birth, the Jewish people were struggling in their ability to follow God. It seemed as if God might have abandoned them. But God did not. Instead, Jesus came into this dark and sinful and dreary world to shine some light into people’s lives.
This continues to be the purpose of Immanuel, God with us, yet today. Not all of our days are perfect, stellar or just as we had planned. On those days when we feel far from God, when life doesn’t make sense, there continues to be Immanuel, who continues to be with us.
In a few hours, I pray we will take the time to worship the new-born king, the Light of this World. Pause this day. Look at the lights on your tree, a lit candle during candle light worship tonight, the glow from an Advent Wreath. May each of these glows reflect the Light of the World for us this Christmas.
Almighty God, soon we celebrate another birthday of Immanuel, God with us. Please place his glow, his light in our lives this day. Thank you for this tremendous gift. Amen.
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