Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Star with a Purpose

The app is incredible. Google SkyMap. I can point my phone up to the sky in any direction, and the application will tell me which stars I'm looking at. Pretty mind boggling. In Google's own words, "If there’s a specific constellation you’re looking for you can search through the application’s database, and SkyMap will help you find it in the sky, using an intuitive arrow system to tell you which direction to turn. When you get close, a circle will appear on the screen surrounding the stars that make up the constellation. It’s really a stargazer’s dream come true."

This amazing technology has made me more aware of a marvelous Creator! I'm convinced of the Psalmist's words, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork," (Psalm 19:1; KJV).

Imagine how handy this tool would have been 2000 years ago. I can picture the wise men holding up their smart phones, searching for the star that would lead them to the new-born King. But God's plan was infinitely better! An easily recognizable star, shining in the east, that would lead the men directly to the Savior.

Their journey was long. They came a considerable distance from the east to Jerusalem. Their excitement mounted as they made their way through the crowded streets to the palace. But no one knew anything about a baby. King Herod called the priests and scribes together to do a little research. Where would this baby be born? The scrolls contained an answer, "In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel," (Matthew 2:5-6).

Cold chills must have gripped the King as he contemplated this potential menace to the kingdom. He feigned kindness to his guests, telling them to find the baby and return to the palace, so he could go and worship the baby too. His unspoken plans played out in his mind. When the wise men returned, he would send his troops to do away with this threat to his throne.

The wise men continued their journey, destined for Bethlehem. They searched the sky. Sure enough, there it was: the star that had led them faithfully thus far. "...And lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy," (Matthew 2:9-10). The star had been created for a purpose - to shine in such a way as to guide these men to the Savior. It did its job: "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh," (Matthew 2:11).

See the connection? You were created for a purpose too. Just like the star of Bethlehem, each of us is given the opportunity to shine for Jesus, pointing others to Him. Don't let the hustle and bustle of the season dim your light. Instead, choose to be like that brightly shining star of long ago, leading others to the truth of a loving Savior who was born to reconcile sinful man with a holy God.

When your light is shining brightly, it won't take a neat app to find you, you'll be clearly visible. Doing your part to make your Heavenly Father known!

Heavenly Father, thank You for the opportunity to shine for You. During this busy Christmas season, help me to be still and know You are God. I humble myself in worship of You. Help me to shine brightly, pointing others to You. In Jesus' name, Amen.


  1. This Christmas post reminds me of one of my favorite verses - "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, in heaven."

    Merry Christmas, Maria.


  2. Hey Maria, thanks for this post! Timely, ofcourse :)
    This morning my husband and I were talking about a name for the non-profit we want to set up in Europe, and he said, well, what is our goal? We want to let our light shine in the world! So it must be something with light.
    No need to say that your post smiles upon us!

    PS: and thanks for that scripture Glenda!

  3. Enjoyed this great post!!!! Happy Thursday, Maria.

  4. Great post! In fact, I'd like to use this on my radio program. Ok? wb

  5. Glenda - A very merry Christmas to you too, Glenda! Have you adapted to the cold weather in Chicago?! No doubt you'll have a white Christmas! Thanks for sharing this verse! Definitely reminds us why we're to shine! God bless! :)

    Marja - I'd love to hear about your non-profit! Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to point to our Savior! Let me know when you decide on a name...Have a beautiful weekend my friend! And a Merry Christmas to you, too!

  6. Diana - So glad you enjoyed it! My hope is always to point to our Savior no matter what time of year it happens to be! Have a great weekend and merry Christmas!

    Warren - Glad you enjoyed the post! And you're absolutely welcome to use it on your radio program! Is your program accessible on the web? I'd love to tune in. Have a great weekend! And a very Merry Christmas to you and your family! God bless!

  7. What a cool post--a smart app to lead the wise men to the Savior. Amazing! I agree, too, that the stars declare God's glory. It always leaves me in awe when I stare at a sky full of stars.

  8. Thank you for this post sister! You've reminded me of the Light that is within me because of Christ. Praying you and yours are consumed with Christ's "presence" this Christmas! Praying your daughter is doing well too!

  9. Hi Maria -

    The mental picture of the wise men with a smart phone will stick for a looong time!

    No matter how dark the night sky, a single star will be visible and light the way. We may be one of trillions of people, but our light will not be lost.

    Susan :)

  10. Thank you for this Christmas post, Maria! I love that prayer at the end, as well. Merry Christmas!

  11. Hi Maria,
    Thank you for a beautiful and inspirational post. I love my visits here! I leave so blessed!
    I love the prayer at the end of your post today.
    Have a wonderful day my friend.
    Hugs and Blessings

  12. I like the correlation between the two "applications". :) Great point!

  13. Jill - I had fun thinking about the wise men with a smart phone! God's creation IS incredible. My daughter enjoys the constellations and we've had fun using the SkyMap app. Have a wonderful week! Merry Christmas! :)

    Cherie - So good to see you! Love your statement about being 'consumed' with Christ's presence - so important all year round! Thank you so much for continuing to pray for Riley! She's completed her first semester of college and is home for several weeks. Have a beautiful Christmas! God bless!

  14. Susan - Glad this post gave you a memorable mental picture! Love your reminder that each one of us makes a difference when our light is shining! Have a wonderful week and a very merry Christmas! Hugs and blessings! :)

    Heather - Thanks for stopping by! A merry Christmas to you and your family as well! God bless you this week as you focus on Him!

    Linda - So good to see you! I'm thankful the Lord can use these posts to encourage your heart! Have a very blessed week and a merry Christmas! Looking forward to stopping by everyone's blogs this week! God bless!

    Karen - Good to see you! I'm looking forward to getting over to your blog this week. Have a beautiful day and a very merry Christmas! God bless!