By Scot Thigpen
The Star Stopped/
Stood Over/Came to Rest
You may have strong feelings about the best translation of the Bible. I’m not so sure I do. However, I do see a few variations on the account of the star of Bethlehem written about in Matthew’s gospel in 2:9. Perhaps there is a Christmas message with all three translations.
The wise men from the East followed a star that had risen. I’m not sure how far a walk it is from “the East” to Jerusalem, but they made the trek. Once they arrived in Jerusalem and asked around about where this newborn king was, they were directed to Bethlehem. And the Bible says, “and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it stopped/stood over/came to rest over the place where the child was.”
The star stopped. None of us can believe we are reading the December issue. There is no way the year could go by as fast as it has. Once again, the star can serve as an annual reminder that it is important for us to stop as well. I bet the wise men were very glad the star stopped so they could finally stop and worship the one they had been seeking. Don’t miss Christmas. Be intentional during Advent season. Create traditions with family. Stop the frantic holiday pace and find ways to give and serve.
The star stood over Jesus. It didn’t stand over any of the other vanities of life we can chase after. It didn’t stand over any other person, place, or thing. It stood over the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Maybe the question to ask is does Jesus stand over his rightful place in every area of our lives as well? Do you know those who are on a journey, seeking something but not quite sure what? They go from one thing to the next in a frantic quest to find real meaning and fulfillment. The star has stopped. It stood over the answer to those searchings. The wise men rejoiced with exceedingly great joy, went into the house, “and they fell down and worshipped him.” Then they opened their treasures and offered them to him. That is an appropriate response to Christmas each day of our lives.
The star came to rest. Rest is a powerful theme in the Bible. My favorite time of Christmas is our Christmas Eve candlelight service. The service culminates with the singing of Silent Night while each person there shares their light until the sanctuary is filled with a collective glow of the candles. That’s when I experience rest. The one in whom this star came to rest would later invite all to, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.” Is that good news for you this Christmas?
To see a star, you have to be looking up. I don’t pretend to know what kind of year you have had. I hope it’s been great, but I know there are many who have had an awful year. Keep looking up like the wise men did. Let the star lead you to Jesus afresh this Christmas season. Let the wise men’s story remind you that the Lord goes before you. Hear again that the star stopped. It pointed them to what they were looking for. And it came to rest.
I hope and pray that you and yours experience lasting life rest this Christmas.
Scot Thigpen is president of The Thigpen Group, a Wealth Advisory Firm in Jackson, MS. He is married to the former Kimberly Inkster and they are parents of two sons and attend Christ United Methodist Church. Contact Scot at firstname.lastname@example.org.