The Star of Bethlehem

It was said that Caesar Augustus one night consulted his personal sibyl (fortuneteller) and asked her if a prince greater than he would ever be born. As she searched for an answer in her sacred books, the place was lit up by a meteor that flared in the dark sky. She put down her book and told him that he had just received his answer.

"It is a sign of the future which is revealed to you," she said. "One world is ending and another is beginning." What it meant was that the age of Aries the ram had just ended and the age of Pisces the fishes had begun.

The sibyl went on to tell Augustus that a child had been born who is the king of future millennia and the true god of the world. "He is of humble birth and obscure race. His divinity is unrealized; when he at last makes himself known, he will be persecuted. He will work miracles, he will be accused of dealing with evil spirits, but I see him victor in the end over death, rising from the place where his murderers entombed him. He will unite all nations."

It is not known whether Augustus believed the sibyl's vision, but it was told to the Roman Senate, recorded and placed in the state archives, from where Constantine drew his information and became a firm believer in astrology.

Every Christmas the Yuletide card portrays a silver star in a navy blue sky and every year the same heavenly object sparkles from the top of the decorated evergreen. At season's end the three wise men and their fellow shepherds gather at a hastily set up manger for the familiar nativity scene. Though it shimmers on the greeting card and its brilliance lights up the tannebaum, it wasn't a star that erupted into a supernova on that dark Judean night. The star that shone so brightly two thousand years ago was wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

"...There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel...." (Numbers 24:17)

The moment that he was born, he lit up the whole world. The wise men of that era were not the kings of song and legend, but men of renown who counseled kings, and many a crown trembled when they spoke words of doom. They were professional astrologers, mathematicians and clairvoyants, wise to the movements of the stars and the rhythm of the heavens and able to interpret dreams and visions.

The countries that the wise men came from or how many there were is not known, but they brought expensive and lavish gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which is found in Arabia and Eastern Africa. The quality of their gifts can only mean that they were fully aware of the importance of their journey and that this foreign child was somebody very special to the world. There had been prophecies of his coming for centuries and when the sign in the heavens manifested itself, "they came to worship him."

The general consensus has been that Jesus was born in the year 7 BC, and there have been heavenly phenomena to support the theory. One astronomer, Michael Molnar from Rutgers University in New Jersey, after studying star formations and astrological signs on ancient Roman coins and the writings of Ptolemy, discovered that in March 20, 6 BC, the moon occulted Jupiter. Only a month later a second occultation occurred. Molnar believes that the first one would have signified a major event in astrology which would have sent the wise men on their way to search for the new king, and the second event would have been in the direction of Bethlehem. To the wise men, this could have been significant, as Jupiter was considered the symbol for kings in Middle East astrology, and Pisces was the House of the Hebrews. Molnar's speculations seem to be the closest of any so far, and places the time of the birth of Jesus only two years before the death of King Herod.

There was that other phenomenon in the sky that has been overlooked by astrologers, astronomers and Bible readers in general. All of the supernovas, planetary conjunctions, comets and occultations do not fully explain the bright, visible light that led the wise men to the Christ child. Maybe the word star was used by translators for something they couldn't explain. It was a bright object which they believed to be a star; and it was, indeed, a very bright light that must have hovered lower than any star.

An astrological sign of the Zodiac in the heavens does not move, is barely visible to the naked eye and is not noticed at all by someone who does not know what to look for. The astrologers saw "his star [zodiac sign] in the east" and that was where it remained when they set out on their journey. They were then led by something that did move, however, and it brought them in the direction of Jerusalem.

The star "?which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was."

This was no supernova, conjunction or comet.

Our neighbors in the cosmos were aware of the blessed event in our world and escorted the men of renown to meet the Lord of Lords. He was the Christ of all the Lords and the Son of the Highest.

When Jesus was born, they came from near and far to worship him. There were the Jews (shepherds) and the Gentiles (wise men). There were the illiterate, and those who read the stars, the poor who tended their sheep on the hillside, and the rich who counseled kings in their palaces.

Why did he come? There are many waters throughout the universe, more than can be numbered. Has he visited all of them? He is the Lord of the worlds and cosmos and perhaps when a world becomes conscious of its humanity, he comes and teaches each one personally the cosmic union of body and soul.

Lauretta Lueck is the author of the book, The Many Waters, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The Many Waters is a scientific interpretation of the creation story in Genesis, which is corroborrated by other ancient manuscripts.

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