He [the Lord] determines the number of the stars, he gives to all of them their names. Psalm 147:3-4 (RSV)
Why did God create shooting stars? People watch them and wonder. Attracted by stellar beauty or personal curiosity, students soon learn that shooting stars are meteors, often originating in the Leonid, Perseid or Geminid constellations. Dedicated astronomers can predict the time, place, intensity and visibility of these divinely inspired events; however, they keep searching for the reasons, the natural purpose for their destruction.
The Psalmist looked beyond the analytic facts of the stars’ existence and used them to praise the Lord for His greatness, abundant power and understanding. Someday, scientists may find a celestial parallel with earth’s annual disintegration of falling leaves. Stars may not fall in as great abundance as leaves, but nothing is wasted either in the Lord’s natural world or in His theological world. Everything has purpose.
When Christ’s followers look to the sky and remember the Christmas Star, they know it had a one-time theological purpose---lead the Magi to Christ. There was no need for it to appear again and again. Those living today never saw that particularly bright star, but through reading the Christmas story, we can imagine it. We don’t need to see it in because we remember our own journey to Christ. Our personal memory of discovering Him combined with the Magi’s story brings a joyous desire to celebrate Christmas—again, and again and again.
Lord, as we celebrate the beauty of the Christmas sky, remember the star, the Magi, and our path to your side, let us, like the Psalmist, praise your greatness, power, and understanding. Amen.
© 2011 V. Colclasure