Follow the Christmas star

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Juda in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

WE MAY NOT SEE IT when we look up into the sky - the star that guided the wise men to the manger of Jesus. But what about the light of love that's been known to shine in human hearts during the Christmas season? Couldn't this light be the Christmas star?

Perhaps you can recall special times when you've been particularly aware of this light of love. Here's an example of my own.

While our children were growing up, each Christmas season we would gather together and watch "Amahl and the Night Visitors," an opera written especially for television by Gian Carlo Menotti. The story opens with Amahl, a poor, crippled shepherd boy, gazing with wonder at the Christmas star.

Later that night, Amahl and his widowed mother are surprised when three kings stop at their humble house for rest. The kings have been following the star to find the Christ child, for whom they each have rich treasures.

Amahl's mother, feeling desperate for her own child's welfare, reaches out in the night to take a handful of the kings' gold. When she is caught, one of the kings tells her: "Oh, woman, you may keep the gold. The Child we seek doesn't need our gold. He will build his kingdom on love alone."

"Oh, no, wait - take your gold!" she responds. "I've waited all my life for such a king. And if I weren't so poor, I would send a gift of my own to such a child."

Amahl then offers his crutch as a gift for the child - and finds himself walking, no longer lame. And with his mother's grateful blessing, Amahl leaves with the kings to follow the star.

While this story is not historical, the bright light of love it inspires within us is by no means fiction. The source of this light is God, divine Love. It shines in our hearts because of who we truly are, the spiritual image and likeness of Love. This is the truth that brought Christ Jesus into the world, that guided the wise men to his manger, and that Jesus proved to be all-powerful by healing the sick and redeeming the sinner.

And there is healing power today in this spiritual truth of our likeness to, and inseparability from, divine Love. As a little boy, Menotti himself was cured of lameness while on a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Sacro Monte in his native Italy.

The Christmas star is a daystar. That is, it leads into the dawn - the dawn of Christ, Truth, in human consciousness. Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered the Science, the healing laws, of Truth, observed, "The star that looked lovingly down on the manger of our Lord, lends its resplendent light to this hour: the light of Truth, to cheer, guide, and bless man as he reaches forth for the infant idea of divine perfection dawning upon human imperfection, - that calms man's fears, bears his burdens, beckons him on to Truth and Love and the sweet immunity these bring from sin, sickness, and death" ("Miscellaneous Writings," Pg. 320).

What the light of divine Truth and Love inspires in human hearts is unselfish love - the love that surrenders self-concern in the dawning realization that God meets human needs through the rule and power of Love alone. This causes us to stop leaning on crutches of limitation, whatever they may be. We gladly forsake them, giving ourselves to love for one another, and to the service of God. And in this loving, we find ourselves to be God's likeness, abundantly cared for, healthy, and free. Such is the law of Love, the Science of Christ.

We can well afford to follow this Christmas star of spiritual truth.

And, lo, the star, which they saw

in the east, went before them,

till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Matthew 2:1, 2, 9, 10

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