The star (the kings) had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. Matthew 2:9-10
When I was a little girl in the 1950’s, my father worked for the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. NORAD was the first entity to have a “Santa Tracker.” Their headquarters had a huge live screen showing what was then known as the Distant Early Warning System, which tracked unidentified aircraft in the air space of the United States. (We were mostly watching the Russians at that time, not little green men.) Some of the technicians developed a simulated tracker, supposedly also in “real time,” to follow Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. It was broadcast on TV and all the kids watched until they were made to go to bed. But I thought my sister and I were especially lucky because we got to see “the real deal” in action. I remember the excitement of being at NORAD Headquarters on Christmas Eve and seeing that little “blip” that represented Santa’s sleigh. I could hardly contain myself! In this modern, digital age, there are other “Santa Trackers” now, but I’ll always remember the original, and my dad in his Air Force uniform keeping the skies safe for Santa. (And now you have some first-hand “Cold War” history! You’re welcome!)
All of Israel had been “tracking” the coming of the Messiah, from the prophets of the Old Testament to the shepherds on the hill outside Bethlehem, to the wise and wealthy kings who traveled from the east to find this amazing Child King. Several accounts in Scripture tell of a “star” leading the way to the place where He lay in a stable. There are many conflicting views of what that “star” might have really been: a “supernova?” A meteor or “falling star?” Science seems to come up short, and historical views don’t help much either. NORAD certainly wasn’t available to track that flying object, and so much of what we read must be taken on faith. But the message ushered in by that miraculous “star” was one we can all believe together: Christ came to bring “peace on earth and goodwill to men” (Luke 2:14).
Holy Child of Wonder, shine through each of our hearts like the star of Bethlehem. Amen