Keeping Watch

24 Dec

Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the star, is on the way.

When I was younger, I always looked in the sky for the brightest star, hoping that it was the star that led the Magi to Bethlehem. Whenever I see stars to this day, I am filled with a sense of awe. My favorite star occasions would take place when we took our annual summer vacation to Arkansas. On the lake at night, in the middle of nowhere, with very little street lights used, you could sit in the pitch black night, look up at the sky, and see not just stars, but constellations.

It’s not like what we find around here. There is so much light pollution that we are lucky to be able to see the moon. Out there, you could see galaxies and constellations. You could see shooting stars. And you could be filled with a sense of wonder and awe. That, to be honest, is the feeling that I associate when talking about the gift of the Holy Spirit, wonder and awe in God’s presence. Because there, underneath that huge starlit sky, well, it could take your breath away.

We call Jesus the Light of the World. I guess it’s appropriate to talk about love, the star, coming on its way. Jesus’ light is brighter than any stars in the skies. Some of the apostles experienced that at the transfiguration when, for a brief moment, they glimpsed Jesus in His glory.

We await the celebration of the birth of Jesus. That celebration is the earthly anniversary of His coming to us as a person. However, the all-powerful God always was and always will be and His love for us burns with such an intensity as to light the way for each and every one of us to return to Him. Follow Love, the star, and find God’s love this day as you prepare for Jesus’ birthday celebration tomorrow.

FAITH ACTION: Spend this evening reading your favorite Christmas passages or watching a favorite Christmas movie.