As 2020 ends, the solar system has decided to provide us with a cosmic Christmas miracle that has not been witnessed in nearly 800 years. On Dec. 21 (aka the December solstice), Jupiter and Saturn will align so closely in the night sky that they will almost appear to collide from our vantage point here on Earth, creating a radiant point of light often referred to as the “Star of Bethlehem” or the “Christmas Star.” You would have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky.
I could not help but ponder how amazing this occurrence is and it is happening this year, in 2020. In the year when Jesus was born, there was violence, confusion, political and social unrest. And yet, it was into that world that God chose to fulfill His promise and send a Savior. The Scriptures tell us in Matthew 2 that the Magi found him by way of the star. They followed the star until it rested over the place where the Child was. In a time when it was dark, in a time in which there was not much hope, in a time in which people were despondent, the Light of the World, heralded by the that bright star, stepped into our world and brought peace.
Fast forward to this year, 2020. Our time, too, is a time of violence, confusion, political and social unrest, much like 2000 years ago. Could God be telling us something? I think so. He is providing yet another bright star and reminding us to focus on His Son, the only place where true peace may be found. December 21 is the "darkest day" of the year, and it is the beginning of what most would call the cold, dark winter season. And yet, on the darkest day this year Jupiter, and Saturn meet, giving us this beautiful star, a reminder of God’s Almighty power and His grace in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Pastor Bryan E. Drebes
Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997. He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001. He served Bethany for 14 years. Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine