It's Christmas, and it's time to stop. Does this sound like an oxymoron to you? I feel the accelerated activity swirling: packing for a trip, praying for a publisher. Fighting a cold, fighting the traffic. Taking my tooth to the dentist, taking my car to the shop. Praising another UPS truck, pushing another grocery cart. Staying up late, getting up early. Yet, I am determined to resist the surge.
I don't want to miss the wonder that Jesus was born.
I invite you to take off your headphones, turn off your iPhone and join me! Treat yourself to a refill of coffee, or cider, or hot chocolate and sit down for a minute with this thought: The Star Stopped.
Matthew: 2: 9-11 says, "After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw The Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped Him."
The answers to three questions concerning the star can bring a fresh brightness to light our hearts this Christmas.
- Why did the star stop?
- What happened after the star stopped?
- What does “the star stopped” say to you and me today?
Why did the star stop?
The star was a GPS for the wise men. In their journey, we sense a Divine Drive. Can you feel the pace and the push in their determination to get where they were going? They were desperate to get to the right place and to arrive on time. They stopped and asked for directions. And all the while, they were focused on following the star. And then … the star stopped. The star came to a screeching halt. Why? Because the search was over! This search did not stop just anywhere. It stopped somewhere. It did not stop over something. It stopped over Someone. The ultimate and final destination for all mankind was reached. The star stopped over Jesus.
What happened after the star stopped?
When the star stopped, they celebrated!
They were overjoyed.
They bowed down.
They gave Him gifts.
This event was greater than any office party or any neighborhood soirée. The breathtaking discovery of the King of Kings brought forth joy and worship. Of course it did!
What does “the star stopped” say to you and me at Christmas?
The star did not stop just for the wise men. It stops for us as well! When we find Jesus, our search is over. Our quest for security and significance is satisfied. When we find Him, we find Everything. We find love, acceptance and forgiveness. We are invitees to a worship party that will last long after the lights go out! It will go on for all eternity. However, the RSVP is left up to each of us on an individual basis. No one can respond for us. We must personally accept Who He is and what He has done. Then, personal, authentic celebration is set into motion. Heartaches are healed. Disappointments are redirected. Relationships are resurrected. Our unfulfilled expectations find fulfillment, not in a person, not in a position, not in a possession, but In Him. Stop and think about that. We are set free to thoroughly celebrate Christmas, overjoyed, worshiping and giving of ourselves, our best gift, to Him.
This is eternal life, that they may know Thee the one true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. (John 17:3)
In Thy presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11)
In Him, we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28a)
It is really true! Jesus plus nothing is more than enough. Jesus plus nothing is everything.
Has your star stopped in Jesus?
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Debby Thompson has served on the staff of Cru for more than 40 years. In 1977, she and her husband went with their infant daughter to live covertly behind the Iron Curtain. Together with their three children, they have lived and served in four different countries, with four different languages and cultures. Larry and Debby now work with Athletes in Action and live near Cincinnati, where they are especially thrilled to be close to the most beautiful people on earth: their grandchildren. You can read more of Debby's writing at her blog, GPS for the Wife of a Leader.
Star photo used with permission from http://heliximaginginc.com/