Stars over Bethlehem

In 3-2 BC, there was a most unusual collection of planet and star conjunctions that apparently has not happened ever before and probably will never happen again.  It is not just that the conjunctions happened, it is also when: they occur on the day of major Jewish festivals, which in turn describe key elements in regard to Jesus’ mission on this earth.  The precision in regard to time has been startling.

I’m laying aside the musing about Covenant for a number of blogs because there some other topics I would like to be a-mused with (pardon the pun – there is a certain insanity that creeps in with writing too much).  As we will be approaching Christmas, the Star of Bethlehem had always been another area of interest that I shared with my Dad.  He introduced me to an understanding of the Magi different than the western Roman-dominated viewpoint.  However, it was a Bible Study group a few years ago who prior to Christmas wanted “to do something on Christmas” that resurrected the subject for me.

What has proved most helpful is the program Starry Night (a very sophisticated planetarium-like personal computer program) where I was able to look at what happened – as it happened – in the sky during the time when the Universe changed, when the Creator God become one of us.  What I discovered at that time was amazing, but as I have continued to work with the material over especially this last year, I would have to say that it has been even more astounding and also faith-confirming.

Of course, one of the hurdles to such a study is just what role astrology would play in regard to such a topic.  It is a struggle pondering that.  The astrology of today mostly is such a fraud – even a “quack” – but also I believe that there are some places where Satan specifically has “his finger in the pie.”  Yet ancient astronomy was astrology and the two did not separate ways until the 1600’s.  Is all ancient astronomy/astrology then to be dismissed for the believer?

The part of this struggle is when the Bible tells us that

The heavens declare the Glory of God; and the firmament proclaims the works of His Hand.  Day pours forth speech to day, and night declares knowledge to night – yet there is no speech nor words, their voice is not heard; [still] their measuring line [or musical string] goes throughout all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.  [Psalm 19:1-4 (see Romans 10:18)]

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When I wrote the book Creation’s Ballet for Jesus, the reference to “Ballet” came from an experience when I was in High School in New York.  The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts had extended the invitation for all local High Schools to send a representative to experience the range of what The Lincoln Center provided.  I was chosen from my school.  One such performance was a ballet.  I had no clue about ballets, an opinion further reinforce by the first half, which I guess was some sort of interpretative dance.  It just seemed to be a bunch of jumping around up on stage.

However, the second half was based on a fairy tale – I knew that fairy tale!  Suddenly, now that I had the story, what was going on up on stage made sense!

“Having the story” is what I believe also makes the difference in regard to “Godly” astrology as opposed to “corrupted” astrology.  “The Story” – or “The HIS-Story” – now identifies what “all that jumping around on stage” in the sky is about.  That is why, at least for this time period, when the heavenly events have extraordinary correspondence to the Biblical festivals – to the remarkable accuracy of the dates involved – I believe that this is where astrology can become godly.  The difference is not to look to the stars to tell us information about what we should/should not do, but to look to the Bible to tell us what the stars are dancing.


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