The Christmas Star

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Psalms 19:1

When Jesus was born, God Himself was incarnate. This was a tremendous moment. He became the physical image of God, His righteousness and the outbeaming of His glory. The face of Jesus carries all the beauty of heaven in it. The birth of Jesus is one of the most powerful moments in history.

So, it would make sense that the stars would announce His birth. The heavens shifted to declare His birth, rejoicing that the earth was blessed with the gift of Christ. The Christmas star was seen by the wisemen, and they immediately set out to find Jesus. They had heard from some of their wise counterparts about the prophecies surrounding the birth of the Messiah, so they set off. The star brought them to Jesus.

Matthew 2:9-11 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen 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 exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The miracle of Jesus’s birth is extravagant. Creation itself rearranged itself to appropriately celebrate the most important birth in history. How are you celebrating the birth of Christ? We all have our traditions and Christmas is such a special time to celebrate, but what about in your own heart? We can put on a good show for our families, but in private, how do we respond to the truth of the miracle of His birth? The wisemen saw the star and they rejoiced, and then when they saw Jesus they fell down and worshipped Him. How are you responding? The miracle of Jesus’s birth should fill us with joy and cause us to worship Him. But, the wisemen were led to the Lord by the star. It was the evidence that they needed to believe in Christ.

What is your Christmas Star? What is the evidence of Jesus in your life that you can celebrate and remember to lead you into a heart of worship? I know for me, when I see my children and grandchildren serving the Lord, I am reminded of God’s goodness and His faithfulness, and I am so grateful to Him.

So, today, look around you? Where are the blessings of God that lead us to thanksgiving and worship?

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

2023-12-06T11:57:18-07:00December 25th, 2023|

A Tradition of Silence

Isabell Bowling, Guest Blogger

Isabell is the daughter of Sarah Bowling and the granddaughter of Marilyn Hickey. She graduated from Oral Roberts University with her bachelors in Historical and Philosophical Theology and received the award for Theology Student of the Year upon graduation.

She is excited for what this next season brings and is looking forward to learning and growing under the tutelage of her mother and grandmother. In the future, she also hopes to continue her educational journey by seeking a graduate degree in Europe.

We pray Isabell’s blog post blesses you today!

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

I absolutely love the season of Hanukkah and Christmas. In college, I minored in Hebrew, so studying the culture and story of the miracle of Hannukah has always fascinated me. More than the story, I love the traditions that surround it. In this season of the year, my absolute favorite thing to do is to uphold our family traditions. For me, there is a comfort that is held in traditions.

When I was in high school, I took a trip to Europe to learn about my roots as a Christian. This meant that we spent a lot of time in Catholic Churches, at holy sites around Europe, and attending different kinds of church services. Experiencing “high church” services and the myriad of traditions brought a reverence to my walk with God that I had not known before. The main thing that I loved was the silence. The hushed voices of whispered prayers, the long, quiet pauses in the middle of service, and the moment of anticipation before the organ boomed out the chords for the next hymn felt like holy moments. About two years later, I was able to visit Israel and dive even deeper into my roots as a Christian. To my surprise, the trend of silence continued. We had multiple opportunities to sit quietly and reflect on the goodness of God. The silence of the waves at the Sea of Galilee, the rustling of the olive tree leaves in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the quiet tears rolling down the older women’s faces while they prayed at the Wailing Wall are key moments where I remember feeling the presence of God deeply.

The power of silence is a beautiful thing. In the story of Hanukkah, the light of the miracle menorah shone for 8 days and nights when the Jews of the time only had enough oil for one night. Think about it: the gold menorah shining its light while they slept, the miracle continuing to shine through their silence. Or think about the miracle of the birth of Christ. We sing the song, Silent Night, every year, but let’s pause and reflect on the moment of silence, where the exhausted Mary lay back on Joseph, as Jesus slept in her arms and her husband bent his head down to comfort her. The silence of that moment is beautiful.

So many times, we are uncomfortable with silence, because we are afraid that we aren’t saying enough. There is a fear that we might not be praising God enough, so we say more and more things. Or, there is a fear that we aren’t doing His will, so we go out and try and volunteer for everything, or start rushing around trying to solve everyone’s problems for them. But, Isaiah 26:3 says that God will keep us in perfect peace, because we trust in Him. We can trust that He is able to do His will while we are still. We can trust that He will speak when He wants to, and that He treasures time with us, not just because we are able to worship Him with our voices, but also with our silence. When we worship Him with silence, we are being quiet and still, reverent in the face of the Almighty.

In the holiday season, we can get caught up in trying to maintain the traditions and cook all the meals and buy all the gifts. But how many of us have silence as our tradition? One of my favorite Christmas traditions that my church has is the candlelight service. On Christmas Eve, we have a moment in service where we light the candles and then we sit silently. The pause and the power of this moment overwhelms me with joy every year. But, for me, when it snows at night, I go outside and sit under my porch light and watch the snow fall.  Maintaining this private tradition has been one my most treasured honors, and when I began to understand that God lives in our silence, that knowledge has made my time with Him all the more special.

This year, as we think on the miracles that dictate this season, the miracle of Hannukah and the miracle of the incarnation of Christ, let’s remember that silence plays a beautiful part in these traditions. Silently sitting with God, allowing His presence to inundate your moments throughout this season can be your newest tradition:)


2023-12-06T12:00:06-07:00December 11th, 2023|
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