Summary: Brief message for candlelight service.
The Purpose of the Star
Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 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."
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
The magi were probably magicians or astrologers, who knew the skies and were aware that this star had special meaning.
In fact, they knew this star was to point to the King of the Jews. I don’t know how they knew that, but they did, and they came to find Him.
But what was the purpose of the star?
Was it to give these astrologers something to write about in their hometown horoscopes? No.
Was it to give people something to speculate about centuries down the line? Maybe it was a comet. Maybe it was a star that was only temporary. Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe. But I don’t think the purpose of the star was just to give something to speculate about.
Maybe the purpose of the star was just to give us something to help us when we made our manger scenes all these years later. What do you think? Probably not.
I think the star had one purpose and one purpose only:
The Purpose was to show the way to Jesus.
It’s really that simple, isn’t it? The magi followed the star because they knew it would take them to the king of the Jews.
And it did.
Tonight, as we light these candles, I want you to think on the fact that since the Bethlehem star is not leading magi to the house where Jesus was, we can do the work of the star.
We can be used by God, just as the star was, to lead people to Jesus, who was not only the king of the Jews, but is, of course, the Savior of all who will call on Him.
The questions people might be asking might not be the same as the Magi, of course.
You probably won’t have anybody here in Aberdeen ask you, "Where can I find the king of the Jews?"
But they might say something like this: "Is there any meaning to life?"
"Is there anything beyond our time on earth?"
"How can I know that there’s a God?"
"How can I know that I’m going to heaven when I die?"
And we can step in and say, "Please allow me to show you the way to the Savior. He can answer all these questions for you, and He’s just waiting to do that."
So even though the star is gone, we can take its place.
And I hope you will do just that - not just during the Christmas season, but throughout the year.
Lighting of the candles
Jesus said -
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
He also said -
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
The idea is that we got the light from Jesus and we’re supposed to pass it on. We aren’t to hoard it, we are to give it away.
So as we do that symbolically tonight, may the Holy Spirit burn into our hearts the need to do this for real - giving the light that points to Jesus, so he can give light to their lives for this life and in the life to come.