|Re-cycled paper collage by Linda M. Jan 5, 2022|
Margaret asked us to share thoughts about our one-little-word for 2022.
I had so much fun with my one-little-word, ox, last year, that I chose a word that I could explore similarly in this year. I had several possibilities scattered throughout my journals. But, by end of last summer, one word kept calling me back…star.
Star is such a simple noun, like love or rose, I wondered if it had enough for me to explore for an entire year. But still, my word of choice is star.
My process whenever I start out on any project, whether it be a lesson, professional development, or collage project is to define my terms. I look up (a lot of googling) what things mean. I try to find literal and figurative definitions that relate to other things. How something is like something else or important to something else—the telling of that is an important part of my spiritual journey. I've learned that making connections is something God urges me to do.
As Spiritual Journey Thursday often puts my spirit in closer touch with my religious faith I decided to look up “star” in a Bible concordance. There are several free online versions. I chose Biblestudytools.com. According to it, star is found fifteen times in the NIV version and seventeen times in The Message version of The Bible.
Four of these references to star are found in Matthew 2:2-10 in the account of the Magi. This sent me in search of an astronomer’s thoughts on ‘The Star of Bethlehem’ in December 2020’s All About Space magazine. There is an online article one can read for free: ‘What was the Star of Bethlehem?”
According to the article, questions about this star are asked a lot during the Christmas holidays. One thing that astronomers agree on is that the “star” probably wasn’t a star at all. Theories presented are a process of elimination of why not a star.
• Stars rise and set they don’t stay in one place
• Comets also move—and at that time were bad omens, not something to follow
• Novas and supernovas leave measurable remnants. None have been found. Also, without telescopes, these phenomena a galaxy away would be nearly impossible to see
• According to Matthew, once the Magi arrived in Bethlehem they needed to ask—“Where is the king of the Jews that’s been born?” So, maybe they were looking at more than one star. Maybe they were considering astrology more than astronomy.
So what was that star that is vital to the story of Christ’s birth and part of all the manger scenes and Christmas cards and carols? Possibly the star was a conjunction…a conjunction is “when two or more celestial bodies appear to meet in the night sky from our location on Earth. These events can continue every night in a similar location for days or weeks.”
Ah-ha! Getting closer. Right? But, stars still rise and set. Planets move eastward in the sky (not west toward Bethlehem “from the east”). There are several conjunctions astrologers have been able to identify in the BC era…including an alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, the moon, and the sun…when Jupiter is in retrograde -- when a celestial being such as the planet Jupiter appears to move westward instead of the east with stars in the night sky. Maybe this is the answer? Maybe astronomers still don't know.
The last line of the article made me giggle as the astronomer suggests: “ Maybe it was simply a miracle.”
I have much to learn about “star” yet in my spiritual journey. But, I see lots and lots of possibilities already. I'm excited to move into 2022 to do this. Like last year, I’ll post a poem a week related to star on this padlet: https://padlet.com/mitchellhubeimom/4bzbfu2cg5k7awk5
Lookout, 2022, I'm aiming for the stars!