On A Clear, Starry Night

Winter on our family’s farm was always inviting to me. We always had plenty of work to do to help my grandparents and the work seemed to make the days last longer. When evening came, I was usually on a deer stand, watching the angled light play through the trees and hoping to see a monster buck before darkness came.  On one particular winter, the temperatures were so drastically cold that the ponds had 6″ thick ice across them.  I can remember walking along the edge, shooting turtles through the clear ice.  Any kid would have delighted in that mischief!

When darkness came and dinner was complete, I often found the empty pickup bed and spent time in the crisp, cold air, looking up at the stars.  As the temperatures dropped, the sky seemed to clear.  The nearest light was over a mile away and there were so few of them, so every possible star was visible in the sky.  I would lie there on the ribbed metal, allowing my eyes to adjust, and my vision of stars grew with every few minutes I spent.  What seemed to be just a few stars became an ocean of stars.  I didn’t know the constellations and couldn’t define a planet from a star.  I just knew that I couldn’t count them, couldn’t wrap my mind around how far I was seeing into the distance.

But two thousand years ago, the planets would align in a unique way and professional stargazers saw a phenomenon that they could not ignore.  They spent every night looking at stars, just as I did on those cold nights at the farm, and they followed the pattern they saw in the skies until they found a new king.  They had been searching the stars for hope, for guidance, for signs.  When Jesus came, they saw what they had never seen before and, risking so much, they ventured out to find a king.

And after months of searching, they found Him and honored Him with gifts.

I will remember those starry nights for the rest of my life.  I still love to gaze up and think of my childhood and how I once felt so connected to the stargazers who went in search of Jesus.  He wanted to be found 2,000 years ago.  He still wants to be found today, living in our hearts, transforming our lives.

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