Did you see the Bethlehem star a few nights ago?! Jupiter and Saturn crossed paths for the first time in about 800 years forming a star very much like the one the wisemen saw on that holy night. I marveled with eyes squinted from my porch at dusk, and I wished I had a telescope! And you know what I'm still wrapping my mind around? Our Joyful Noise Advent calendar's verse for that day, December 21st, was from Matthew 2:10-11; the very words recounting the wisemen following the North star. When I created this calendar late last year, I had no idea we would have a star sighting of our own the same day!

Star of wonder, star of night, star of royal beauty bright, westward leading, still proceeding, guide us to Thy perfect light…(God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen) 

I couldn't stop thinking about the night the wisemen saw the star. Yes, it was brighter than the rest of the stars in the sky, but I never realized it was still really small from an earthly point of view far below. And yet — the wisemen knew it was no ordinary night and no ordinary light. They were drawn to follow the star, even with the hundreds of miles it beckoned them to travel. They were moved by good news of great joy to meet the long awaited Immanuel. 
Seeing the star reminded me of this truth: Jesus is still Immanuel — God with us. By His Spirit, He still lives in us today. The light of His faithfulness shines from generation to generation. No matter what challenges we face, He is always with us. Just as Saturn and Jupiter united in the sky on the first day of winter, He is bringing all things together at just the right time. Our paths cross on purpose — all for His glory and our good. Even in moments that feel anything but a silent and calm night — all is still bright. Our Light shines brightly in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1:5). And that is our hope this Advent season as we wait for Christmas Day.

May we keep an eye on the sky and never stop looking up. May we be lanterns for the Lord’s light to shine.

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