Not A Baby Anymore: Happy Birthday Jesus!
Recently the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn had many calling it the “Christmas Star”; probably because it is a semi-rare conjunction that is occurring around Christmastime. I was speaking with my Mom - who is an amazing woman of God with a childlike heart and very strong faith - and she was telling me how many were equating the conjunction on December 21st with the original birth of Jesus...but she was researching. This began a family dialogue and some research which produced some exciting ideas.
If you have ever been to Bethlehem in Israel, you know it is a place that actually feels old. There is a view from the hills around the Church of the Nativity where you need very little imagination to see sheep, shepherds and angels. Even the monk I met there with his traditional outfit, Rayban sunglasses and grouchy attitude (complaining about the crowds) fit the ambience. People were in awe and stood in long lines to see the spot where Jesus was supposedly born: We were made to worship and will worship anything, including locations and icons. But as we celebrate Jesus’s amazing birth my heart is focused on His next appearing as my bridegroom.
So what does the conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn mean? Jupiter is known as the King planet because it is the largest (eleven earths could fit across Jupiter’s equator) and Saturn is the second largest and in mythology represents a sickle. The likely conjunction that heralded Jesus’s birth was a triple conjunction of Jupiter (the King planet), Venus (the mother planet) and Regulus (
the brightest star in the constellation Leo). You can read in detail about this on the website www.bethlehem star.net The amazing thing is that we can see this event on NASA’s sky calendar which goes back thousands of years to display what the sky actually looked like on any particular day. There is also a movie called “The Star of Bethlehem” which explains what the conjunction was in detail - it is a beautiful and moving production (linked below).
At a time when the earth is in travail and many are looking for a sign from heaven to explain what is happening, we see a conjunction and declare “Look, it‘s the Christmas Star!” But Jesus said that let him who has eyes to see and ears to hear, see and hear the truth. The sun, moon and planets were put in the heavens as signs and seasons to declare to us certain events. (Genesis 1:14) The Holy Spirit invites us to press in, look closer, come near. The King planet comes in conjunction with the planet of the harvest/sickle - The King is coming to harvest the earth. This is the end of the age of grace and the great harvests are coming. First the barley harvest: The first harvest in Israel of the soft grain. This represents Jesus coming for His bride first, before the tribulation. The next harvest is the wheat: The hard grain that must be crushed by the tribulim (those left behind who give their lives to Jesus during the tribulation). And the last harvest are the grapes (Revelation 14:19): When Jesus returns as the conquering King He will gather the nations that oppose Him and throw them into the winepress of the wrath of God. Even the symbol of Saturn is a depiction of the great harvest:
The magi set the example for us to press into God’s word and stop wading in the shallows being satisfied that Jesus is coming but stopping short of seeking Him. The Kings of the East would have certainly fallen short of their journey (and the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:15 would have failed) if they would have been satisfied to know the King was coming but not set out to find Him. The Holy Spirit was given as a gift to us to guide us into truth and show us things to come. It isn’t good enough for us to see Jesus as a baby in the stable and intellectually know the story and even believe He is coming back but not know the season of His next appearings: As the bridegroom for His bride and the last as the conquering King to set up the Kingdom. I think God allowed this conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn to occur during the Christmas season in order to provoke us to wonder, to press in and to seek for ourselves what do these things mean. Jesus was born, lived, died and rose again just as the scriptures promised. But there is more! His brithday needs to inspire us to rejoice for His next coming, to begin to study and know the prophecies of His return and be able to explain them to others.
I am so excited to celebrate this Christmas and thank the Father for sending us Jesus! What a gift and treasure beyond expression! I am also rejoicing that He is coming back soon to take us to be with Him in the place He has prepared for us! (John 14:1-2) Jesus came, is coming on the clouds to call those who are watching and waiting for Him, and then is returning as the victorious King of Kings at the end of the age. May we be wise and seek Him in His word, and be watching and ready because the greatest party in the universe is about to begin. Will you be attending?
“The heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” (Psalm 91:1)