A STAR IS BORN

Poor Donald Trump.  Not everybody is wishing him a Merry Christmas.  Trump came out with his very own line of shirts and ties that are being sold exclusively at Macy’s this Christmas.   There was just one little marketing hiccup.  You see, for the last couple of years The Donald has been railing against unfair Chinese competition and the fact that US jobs have flooded offshore.  He actually makes a reasonable point if you look at the data.  Where things get a little dicey for the flamboyant and out spoken billionaire is that his new fashion line is being made in… you guessed it… in China!  Consequently, an online petition has surfaced to try to force Macy’s to Dump Trump.  So far 680,000 people like the idea and have signed the petition.

Most of you know that I am a huge Donald Trump fan.  I supported him in his run for the Presidency.  Read Here  If it were not for buffoons like Trump, amateur comedians like me would have no material at all.  If Macy’s dumps trump, I doubt his fortune will be in much jeopardy… but they would have to take down the Donald Trump Christmas tree.

Of course this blog is not about Trump at all, but about a real Star… the one born 2000 years ago in Bethlehem.  In the gospel of Matthew there is a fascinating narrative about the wisemen (Magi) from the Orient.  It says they followed a star, that they had seen in the East, looking for the new born King of the Jews.  When they got to Bethlehem, it states that the star they had been following stood still over the place where the child was laying.  What are we to make of this celestial sign? With the advancements in astronomy there most be a way to figure out if this happened and what it was that they saw.   Astronomer Michael Molnaractually has written an entire book on the subject called, The Star of Bethlehem:  The Legacy of the Magi.  His research is nothing short of fascinating.  His search began when he first purchased an ancient Roman coin for $50 that was in circulation at the time of Christ.  The coin showed a ram looking over its shoulder to a luminous star.

After buying the coin Molnar began to try to unravel the meaning.  With his knowledge of astronomy and a keen interest in ancient astrology, Molnar knew that all of the constellations of stars have names and that each one of them was assigned to one of the ancient peoples.  The Ram is  the constellation of Aries and was considered to represent the Jews.  The second part of the mystery was the star that appeared with the ram.  In 6 BC an extraordinary event took place called the occultation of Venus, and it happened in the constellation of Aries.  This is when the planet Venus becomes eclipsed by the moon and ends up shining particularly brightly.  In ancient times people thought Venus was a star not a planet as they had no knowledge of such things.  It was considered the Royal star as it is the brightest celestial object seen from earth.  To the Magi, who were likely astrologers, the star illuminating brightly meant a new king was born.  The fact that it appeared in Aries was the reason that they were looking for a king born to the Jews.

After the wisemen visited Herod, inquiring as to where the king was expected to be born, the star appeared again.  This time standing still over the place where the Child was.  This seems problematic in that celestial objects cannot stand still (outside of a miracle like in the book of Joshua where the sun stood still) as the earth is in constant rotation.  Molnar discovered that the occultation of Venus happened twice in 6 BC.  The second time was in December and this time the rotation of the earth fell in sync with the orbiting of Venus thus making it look like the ‘star’ was standing still for the period of about one week.

The last piece if the puzzle is the year it all happened.  Most people believe Jesus was born in zero BC.  Turns out that Dionysius Exiguus the Roman Catholic monk who set the dates of the Roman calendar in AD 527 got it wrong.  King Herod died in 4 BC.  Which would mean that Jesus, who spent 2 years in Egypt until Herod’s death, would have to have been born in 6 BC.  Booyah!

Whether you can buy Molnar’s explanation or not (it is head and shoulders above any other theory), the fact remains the birth of Christ is the single most significant event in history. Without it, we would all still be dead in our sins and we would be on a one way ticket to Hell.  For God so loved the world that He sent his only beloved Son, that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but have eternal life.  He, without equal, is the greatest Christmas gift of all time.  As we get caught up in the festivities of the holidays, let’s not forget that Jesus is the reason for the season and wise men still seek Him today.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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4 Responses to A STAR IS BORN

  1. James Slyk says:

    Interesting that Aries the Ram is depicted on the coin. The Zodiac was used by the Romans, based on concepts inherited by Hellenistic astronomy from Babylonian astronomy of the Chaldean Period (mid – 1st century B.C.).
    Aries, in the Zodiac, is found in the Springtime (mid March to mid April) and the Bible, reading between the lines, shows Jesus as being born in the Springtime. The facts that the Zodiac calendar was derived around mid – 1st century B.C. and that Aries is actually the first sign of the Zodiac are not coincidental when examining the birth of Jesus. God has His way of conveying the message to us in a way we can understand it.

  2. Ernie says:

    Everything you wrote is dead on and good for you for sharing it. You only wrote one incorrect item, the birth of Christ was the second most significant event in this world. The most significant by far was the death of Christ on the cross. That event provided a path of eternal life with God. God Bless You.

  3. Gisela says:

    Feb 24/13 – Listened to your presentation today – spot on about the food pyramid – Love it -and so often we know, but don’t do – Like the apostle Paul said – Roman’s 7:15….I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right (healthy), but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate (is unhealthy). As you said Pastor Mark – the Holy Spirit can give us the power to do all through Jesus Name! I love the way life works. God has provided everything on and under the earth for the healing of our bodies (I am very much into God created herbals). These man made food additives and chemicals are killing us and destroying our future generation ! Thanks so much for this sermon – really appreciated this.
    God Bless your mininstry!
    Gisela

  4. Peter Sunday says:

    Will Like to have you as a mentor and spiritual coach. I got your contact from Bob Olynyk who told me about you and after visit your website was richly blessed and then though it good to writer you.

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