When you’re decorating for Christmas, have you ever wondered what the story is behind the Christmas star? Is it more than a beautiful ornament? Was the Christmas star real? Is there an underlying reason why you showcase the Christmas star versus an angel?
What was the Christmas Star?
Matthew 2:10 proclaims, “When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” The star represented wonder, guidance, and physical and metaphorical light that was needed. Those key sentiments are still elements we cherish every day.
The Christmas star is also known as the star of Bethlehem and is a major seasonal symbol throughout the world. Biblical history tells us that three men on camels gazed across hills, and in the distance, they saw a tiny building. As you can imagine, the night was dark, and visibility was limited. However, above the tiny building was an indescribable illumination and a gentle light that glowed inside. The light was nothing short of mesmerizing, and the three wise men followed it.
Scientists have argued theories to prove and/or dismiss the existence of the Christmas star. The author of Matthew 2:10 was clearly not an eyewitness, so it is quite possible that it didn’t appear literally how it is described. Nonetheless, the men saw something bright, and it changed their course. Astronomers have tried relentlessly to provide a scientific explanation by exploring options of bright meteors, falling stars, supernovas, and even possible planets. The reality is people, both with and without qualified educational backgrounds in astronomy and physics, will continue to argue the existence of the Christmas star until the end of time.
If you’re interested in learning more about the biblical history of the Christmas star, then let’s dive into it. Let’s learn more about the origins of the holy star and how it created its own part in history.
Was the Christmas star (the star of Bethlehem) real?
If you’re a Christian, undoubtfully yes! The Christmas star is a mystery, but so many things within faith rely on believing in miracles and having faith. The Star of Bethlehem appears only in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew, where wise men were inspired by the star to travel to Jerusalem. Even if the description of the star in Matthew is not 100% accurate, there is no doubt that there was a light.
What does the Christmas star symbolize?
The Christmas star symbolizes the star of Bethlehem. The star is the heavenly sign of prophecy and the shining hope for humanity. In the story, it signifies the birth and kingship – which turned out to be an undefinable hope for society.
The star placed on top of a Christmas tree is a way to remember the birth of Jesus and a symbol to commemorate his birthday. History tells us at first, a figure of the baby Jesus was placed on the top of the tree. Over time the figure changed to an angel that told the shepherds about Jesus. Later, that evolved into the star that the wise men saw. It wasn’t until the 1850s that the Christmas tree, adorned with the Christmas star (figure of Jesus or angel), became a popular way to embrace the birth of Jesus and his coming.
What does the Bible say about Christmas trees?
Theologians argue both sides – for and against Christmas trees. Some of the popular arguments vary. Jeremiah 10:3-4 ESV, “For the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the first is cut down and worked with an ax by the hands of a craftsman. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move.” Some view it as a vanity scheme, and others believe it is a way people can celebrate the birth of Jesus and his coming.
How many points is a Christmas star?
This is a loaded question and essentially has two answers. In the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a silver star with 14 undulating rays marks the location traditionally claimed as Jesus’ birthplace. However, it is recognized as a common eight-pointed star across the world and is now a seasonal symbol recognized almost everywhere.
Even though the Christmas star appears just once in the Bible, in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament, it has become one of the holiday’s most important and treasured symbols. Despite astronomical studies and theological controversy, Christians have decided to trust their faith and showcase the star on their trees.
Like the advent candles representing hope, love, joy, and peace, the Christmas star represents December 25th – the day Jesus was born. And the Christmas star is a symbol of Jesus – the sacrifices he made for everyone, the celebration of Jesus’ birth, and the hope for peace. Nonetheless, the Christmas star reminded and continues to remind everyone that light outshines darkness, and everything will be alright.