Written by Terry S. Lu – 

It is a well-known story, often told during the Christmas season: a group of wise men traveled from the East to Jerusalem, led by a brilliant star, bearing gifts intended for an unknown child king. In their search for the child, they consulted Herod the Great, King of Judea.

“Where is he that is born King of the Jews?”

The star the wise men followed is sometimes referred to as the “Star of Wonder.” But how did they know to travel to Jerusalem, and how did they anticipate Jesus’ birth? The wise men were Zoroastrian astrologers, trained to study the skies for insight into significant events. What did they see in the night sky between 3 and 2 B.C.? According to Dr. Eric Carlson, a professor emeritus of the Adler Planetarium, the wise men would have seen repeated convergences between Jupiter (which they associated with kingship), Venus (which they associated with new birth), and the Leo constellation (which they associated with Judea). For them, the message was clear: a powerful new king would soon be born to the Jews.

The “Star of Wonder” was a message delivered by God—in a form the wise men could understand—that was intended to point them to Christ. The wise men received that message and set forth on their journey to seek out and to worship Jesus, the messiah, the holy and anointed one. God was ultimately glorified in both the sending and the receiving of that message.

As Christians, we are called to continually direct people to Jesus. We can do so through our church activities, but also through our work and day-to-day witness. For the staff at Mauck & Baker, we strive to point others to Christ through our legal practice. That is one way to preach the gospel and to make disciples, but it is certainly not the only way.

Recently, a small group from Uptown Church gathered on a cold and busy street in our neighborhood to put together a live nativity scene. The participants were adorned in costumes on loan from another ministry organization. Volunteer musicians softly played Christmas carols behind them. Above them stood a stable constructed out of scrap wood donated by a local roofing company. Pedestrians stopped to enjoy the music. Cars slowed so pictures could be taken. Some onlookers were seen crying. The live nativity was a message to the residents of Uptown—in a form they could understand—that was intended to point them to Christ. It was a “Star of Wonder” for all who passed by that night.

How can you be a “Star of Wonder” in the lives of others this holiday season and into the coming year?