The New Star of Bethlehem
The bells of joy are ringing again as Christmas approaches. Every home and street, especially in Nagaland, which is also known as the Jerusalem of India, will be illuminated by decorative lights and glow in the cold dark December nights eliciting warm and happy emotions. Nagaland is perpetually ready for Christmas, a time for joy, feasting, and reunion with families and loved ones in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior.
Christmas, like any religious festival, has its symbolic theme—with its ubiquitous star of Bethlehem hung in almost every house, street, and church building or printed on Christmas cards. The star dominates the night with its size and brightness. It became the emblem of Christmas. The familiarity, though, holds a different perspective despite its obvious concrete impression.
The Gospel of Matthew recorded the special appearance of a star that guided the wise men from the east to Bethlehem which enabled them to pay reverence to the newborn king of the Jews. It is also mentioned that King Herod had a clandestine meeting with the wise men to inquire about the star indicating that he and the people of Jerusalem had not seen it. This event conveys two equivocal messages about the sacredness of the star. King Herod had an evil motive that clouded his ability to see and perceive the guiding star which otherwise might have had him lead his people to Bethlehem and Jesus. Likewise, most people are veiled by their wickedness and self-righteousness from seeing the guiding light. They celebrate Christmas in oblivion, only accustomed to the constant monotonous references to the account of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in the church services.
The other significance is the nature and purpose of the star. The Holy Scripture tells us how the star disappeared and reappeared as a guide for the wise men of the east to Jesus, and, similarly, it encourages us to be vigilant of the roaring force of evil and be the guiding beacon for those ignorant of Jesus and lost souls toward the Savior. Christmas, without a doubt, is a time for happiness, but it is also a time of setting examples of purity and good judgment and letting our inner light shine to the world, as it is said, in Matthew 2:1-2, where the child was the world would fall and worship Him.
As time and seasons change, Christmas comes and goes, but let’s celebrate every Christmas with reverence and deference, as an enduring guide towards Jesus. Let’s illuminate our society and the world not only with our decorative lights but also with our moral excellence, good deeds, and by recognising and giving honour, awe, praise, and glory to our Saviour. Let us be the new stars of Bethlehem.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NKJV)
HumaningboChawang, Founder – Director
Soul Harvest Ministry