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As I was researching this sermon I visited a blog that was selling some of these tree toppers and the variety astounded me (we put pictures of these different treetoppers on the screen as they were mentioned):
Some were wintery decorations. Things like:
* Ginger bread men
* Spires that looked like the steeples of Russian church buildings.
Then, there were some peculiar decorations that still had a Christmas connection.
* I found a few that featured Elvis (Blue Christmas)
* And at least 3 Grinches.
BUT perhaps the oddest tree toppers of all were:
* A “Peace” Sign
* Glinda... the good witch from Wizard of Oz
* and (pause) YODA!
“Christmas will come, it will”
Now I have no idea what those last four decorations had to do with Christmas, but I do know that none of those decorations came even close to competing with the top two choices for tree toppers.
Can anyone guess what the two most popular are?
(Angels and Stars).
Why would these be on top of Christmas trees?
Because they are both part of the Biblical story of Christmas. The angels announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds and the star led the wise men to Him
APPLY: Today I want to focus on one of those two tree toppers - the Star of Bethlehem
Stars have been one of the main decorations of Christmas trees since the beginning.
It’s said that Martin Luther began the tradition of having a Christmas tree and that he put candles on the tree for his children to give them the impression of stars in the sky day Jesus born. Ever since that day, the Star has been one of the most favorite decorations for Christmas trees
The story of the star only occurs in Matthew, chapter 2.
We’re told that “Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.’” Matthew 2:1-2
And that “... the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.” Matthew 2:9
Now, Scholars disagree about what type of star this was.
* Some believe it was a meteor. But a meteor would have burned out long before the Magi arrived.
* Others have thought it was a comet. But comets generally inspired fear, not worship. A comet wouldn’t have drawn men to a King... it would have frightened them away.
* Still others have speculated this star was a super nova (an exploding star), but aside from the fact that a supernova wouldn’t have lasted long enough for the Magi to have made the trip, there is no record of super nova occurring at that time.
One major theory that has some possibility is that the star was result of the line up of 3 planets Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. This happens about every 1000 years, and would likely have happened around the birth of Christ. Their collective brightness would have lit up the night. BUT we’re left with the problem of a “star” that moved and eventaully “stopped over the place where the child was.”
ILLUS: Probably one of the best explanations was offered 2 respected scholars:
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