What “Stars of Bethlehem” in your life have gotten your attention to show you the way to Jesus? What “Stars of Bethlehem” is God using this Christmas Season to get your attention and show you the way to Jesus?
What was the Star of Bethlehem?
Some people say it was a comet like Halley’s Comet.
Some people say it was a conjunction of planets like the conjunction—the close approach—of Jupiter and Saturn in the sky this Christmas Season.
But I say, the Star of Bethlehem was a “can of tuna fish”.
Its purpose was to attract the Magi to Jesus.
What “Stars of Bethlehem” in your life have gotten your attention to show you the way to Jesus?
What “Stars of Bethlehem” is God using this Christmas Season to get your attention and show you the way to Jesus?
Why do I say that the Star of Bethlehem was a “can of tuna fish”?
An adventure of our cat, Bootsey!
This black cat with white markings started living with my future wife, Suzanne, before she started dating me. Bootsey never forgave Suzanne for marrying me because I took his place in her bed.
He lived 18 years—until Sarah was 11 and Andy was 7. So Bootsie became a member of our family who we will always miss.
This story about Bootsey describes an adventure that befell him while we were building our first house—one year before Sarah was born.
The construction of our house had reached the point where the basic wood structure was in place. We could walk on wood floors. And the builder had begun adding other features to the house.
Most important to this story, the runs for the heat and air conditioning had been installed. But there were no covers over the entrances to these cat-sized “tunnels.”
We brought Bootsey over to the new house for the first time so that he could begin to get used to it.
We took him upstairs to where our bedroom would be and set him loose.
He raced for the opening that led to the heat run along the floor.
Before we could stop him, he was gone!
This particular heat run went about five feet along the floor under the bathroom. Fortunately, it didn’t connect with anything else with a space big enough for Bootsey to squeeze through. Nor did it have a cat-sized hole that would send Bootsey plunging two stories to his death.
So at least we knew where Bootsey was. But there was no way we could reach into the heat run far enough to pull him out.
Suzanne was nearly hysterical. She called and called to Bootsey. But he was too scared to come to her.
Fortunately for Bootsey, Suzanne knew him very well. And she loved him too much to ever give up trying to save him by getting him to come to her.
So Suzanne ran next door and got some tuna fish. She held it near the opening.
The smell reached Bootsey. In the hope of getting his favorite food, Bootsey crawled toward her.
Finally, Bootsey got so close that Suzanne could reach down and pull him to safety. She hugged him and hugged him. And then she gave him the tuna fish.
God uses the “Stars of Bethlehem” in our lives the same way that Suzanne used that can of tuna fish with Bootsey.
We are separated from God. In our fear we run away from him. Seeking safety, we choose a dangerous place to hide.
We are all alone in the dark.
We are paralyzed by our fears.
God calls to us again and again. But we ignore his voice.
Fortunately, God knows us very well. And he is even more determined to save us than Suzanne was to save her beloved cat.
So God finds a “can of tuna fish” to lure us out of the lonely darkness towards him. For the Magi, the “can of tuna fish” was the “Star of Bethlehem.”
The journey that we begin after we catch the scent of a better life and after we see this star of hope may not be easy or short. Like the Magi, people often go to the wrong places as they search for Jesus. But at least they’re searching for him diligently!
The exact nature of the “can of tuna fish” and the “Star of Bethlehem” varies from person to person. But it is always something that gives us hope that we can find a better life—if we can overcome our fears and crawl in the direction that God wants us to go.
It is always a light of hope shining in the darkness of our lonely, fearful lives. Just as the Magi saw the Star of Bethlehem shining in the darkness.
We should not be surprised that God brings people to him the same way that Suzanne brought Bootsey to her.
Bootsey’s journey started because he wanted to eat the tuna fish, not because he trusted the sound of her voice calling him. And Bootsey’s journey ended when Suzanne took him in her arms and hugged him.
In the same way, God must often use something other than his voice to motivate people to start searching for him. God then waits patiently until the person reaches that moment in his or her life when it is best for God to reveal himself.
Then—in God’s good time and in God’s good way—God reaches down, lifts them to safety, and hugs them in the Promised Land.
And God gives them their “can of tuna fish” because God always gives us all that is best in life when we “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
This blog is mainly composed of quotations from the chapter “The Magi Follow the Star” that was first published in 2004 in my book Hoping in the LORD, at pages 41-43.
To learn more about how Jesus helps people overcome the Darkness that surrounds them, please read my blogs “Overcoming Oceans of Despair”, “Overcoming Oceans of Hopeless Confusion”, “Overcoming Oceans of Fears”, “Overcoming Oceans of Doubts”, and “Overcoming Oceans of Failures”. These blogs are based on the post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus as found in “Part 7: Jesus Resurrects Hope by Defeating Death” of my book Hoping in the LORD, at pages 296-333.