December 12, 2010
It is said that Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the headquarters of the Moravian Church Northern Province, is known as Christmas city. One other person describes it as the city of lights for at least one Star is to be seen not only on the inside, but on the outside of almost every house. This is part of the Moravians faith journey and seems to point one back to Bethlehem of Judea, where Jesus the Christ was born according to scripture.
With the approach of Christmas, this Star is brought out and hung in the Sanctuary, in the house and porch, where it remains until Epiphany, that is, January 6th when it is taken down. Sometimes it is referred to as an Advent Star, or a Christmas Star, or the Moravian Star. Whatever name it is referred to as, the Moravians have made it a very important part of its faith journey. Always, it is a lighted Star, shining to proclaim its message.
When in time to come our children ask, what is the significance of the Moravian Star? Why it is hung or placed in the Sanctuary and individual homes? When visitors come to our homes and places of worship and see the lighted Star, we must be able to tell the story. We must be able to tell them that the Moravian Star has a three-fold message.
It testifies to the greatness of the Creator who made the stars on the fourth day of Creation. “ And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.”(Gen. 1:14 & 16). He made them numberless and differing in glory and praising the might that laid the foundations of the world. “The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor”. (1Cor. 15:41).
Secondly, it is a reminder of the Star that once led the Wise Men from their distant homes until it stopped over the place where the young child was and they fell down before Him and worshipped Him. “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.” (Matt. 2: 1- 2,9-10).
Thirdly, it points to the Divine Star, which was foretold by the Prophet Balaam who said, “A Star shall come out of Jacob” (Num. 24:17). This was fulfilled in the one who said of himself, “I am the root and descendant of David, the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16). May Jesus, the Christ, the bright and morning Star, shine brightly in our lives and in the process point others to the cross, our hope and expectation. Be a Star for the Master.