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“STAR OF WONDER, STAR OF NIGHT...”
Thursday, December 24, 2020 by Leona

In the early darkness of the evening of December 21, 2020 we stood gazing into the heavens to catch a glimpse of a brilliant phenomenon—the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction—that has not been seen since 800 years ago.

Jupiter isn’t a star. Neither is Saturn. But for one night only, on the winter solstice, these two planets drew so close together that they appeared to the naked eye as almost one—a bright STAR in the heavens.

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star; How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky.”

“Star light, star bright, first star I've seen tonight; I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight!”

These little ditties bring to my memory early Iowa evenings in my childhood as I stretched out on the grassy lawn gazing at the darkening sky watching for the first stars to reveal themselves. From the vantage point of my fresh, narrow, innocent world, I was reaching to understand whatever was out there somewhere and trying to connect with it. It made me wonder. To wonder was “delicious” to my childish imagination.

I called the millions of tiny orbs “stars.” What are stars? In the study of science as I grew I learned that stars are not solid objects. They are made of very hot gas. This gas is mostly hydrogen and helium, which are the two lightest elements. When I was born 95 years ago, mankind didn't know nearly as much about “what they are” as we know now through observatories, or from the Hubble Space radio telescopes such as the ones in the Deep Space Network (DSN). Or as will be known in the future through space exploration.

And they don't really “twinkle.” Stars shine or seem to twinkle by burning hydrogen into helium in their cores.

They certainly aren't “little.” Some stars are simply larger than others and so send out more light and I can see them.

Nor are the visible orbs really “up” there so high. We, who are gravity bound and live on the crusty surface of our tilted Planet Earth which is circling the sun, think of objects as being “up” there when they are really more accurately “out there” in space.

What else is out there in space? Planets. These are dark bodies that orbit around stars but do not release enough light to be visible to us. But I can still see the planets and our moon in the night sky because light from the sun reflects off of them. Earth and some other planets are made of rock, others are not solid but gas.

“The first star I see tonight” might not be in that location the next time I gaze outward. I may never see it again. There are millions of stars in the universe but with the naked eye I can see only about 6000 from Earth. Besides, there is a lot of other dark matter between me and the stars that can block starlight. Most of the universe is empty space but there are clouds of interstellar dust and many tiny isolated particles which sometimes form clouds called nebulae. Also bits of rubble as big as small moons or as small as grains of sand called planetoids and asteroids. All of that “space junk” keeps me from seeing more stars.

Sadly, those orbs I called stars don't “grant wishes” as I hoped in my childhood. As far as we know, they are uninhabited and so far unapproachable. But there is a real Someone Else “up there/out there” we know to be God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, all of the universe, including us. It is God who can hear and answer us. We call that connection “prayer.”

Well, all of this made me wonder about the Scripture record concerning “the star” in the sky which appeared in the East and apparently moved geographically somewhat above Earth to lead the Magi, who were pagan astrologers, to the child Jesus. They described it as a “star” in terms of the knowledge of astronomy in that era. What the bright object in the sky really was remains a mystery known only to our supernatural God who can do as He pleases with His creation for His omnipotent purposes.

I can wonder, I can marvel, I can speculate, I can theorize, I can investigate. Theologians and astronomers alike continue to put forward their theories, none conclusive. It is vain to try to explain the phenomenon naturally. It was a supernatural event. At the end of the day, as they say, I need to trust our awesome Almighty God and loving Heavenly Father with the secret of the Star of Bethlehem. Let's wait until all mysteries are revealed in His presence in what Jesus called “My Father's House” and we call “Heaven,” wherever in space and time that is.

God has planned for us to be with Him eternally in our immortal state. So don’t you imagine there will be plenty of time for us to ask Jesus to delegte some angel with techy know-how to rewind time and replay for us a video of that first Christmas eve “when the multitude of the Heavenly host” filled the heavens with Jesus' birth announcement?

 


Comments

Lisa Meadows From Stanley, VA At 12/27/2020 8:37:57 AM

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your writing! You’re such an inspiration. God has truly imparted His wisdom in you and I’m so grateful that you share it with us all. I hope you received my book I sent to you a while back. May you have a blessed 2021 as we look for Jesus’s return!

Reply by: Leona Choy

Your book was an inspiration, Lisa, thank you for sharing your very well done writing. Trust God with the unexpecteds that are sure to come up in the new year-they are all His good plan for you.

Elaine From Minnesota At 12/25/2020 3:10:43 PM

Loved your explanation so perfect now on Christmas Day. We had heavy cloud cover on the 21st but on the 22nd, I saw it. . . Only there appeared to have a slight separation (24 hours later) that evening! I’m thankful that God would provide this, some of His awesome creation to be visible for us! A

Reply by: Leona Choy

As you face the unknown new year ahead, Elaine, determine to trust the Lord for the unexpecteds that are sure to come up in your life. His plans for you are always for good and for His glory. Call to mind how much God loves you and live joyfully in the moment.

Dot From Dan At 12/25/2020 1:13:21 PM

Aren't we lucky! He's gone to prepare a "place" for us!

Reply by: Leona Choy

And when we arrive there, it will feel immediately like HOME to us because of His presence and all those we love who have gone before us are there to show us around...

Carol Hopfensperger From Denver At 12/25/2020 7:36:02 AM

Loved this, thank u for sharing??????

Reply by: Leona Choy

Hope you saw the "wonder non-star". Cloud cover all the nights in my neck of the woods. Merry Christmas!

James Wei-Ji Huang From Hong Kong At 12/25/2020 4:10:06 AM

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to our respected and beloved Auntie Leona God bless you and your whole family! Wei-Ji & Ling-Ling

Reply by: Leona Choy

I pray that the Lord will keep you safe from the Covid and give you His special favor in the coming year.

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