As Christians, we may have heard a great deal about the star of David that appeared during the birth of Jesus. But did you know that a certain astronomical phenomenon involving stars will occur in late December of 2020? That’s right. The planets Saturn and Jupiter will align on December 21 and will form a “Christmas star” shape in their alignment.
Just how rare is this phenomenon? According to Christian Headlines, you have to go back to the 1200s just to see something similar to this occurrence happening around the same time.
The news of this so-called “Christmas star” has sparked hope and excitement for believers around the globe. In this article, we’ll dive into some of the reasons we can look forward to seeing the Christmas star and what it reminds us of this Advent season.
Christmas Star Meaning in the Bible
We’ve seen a star used in about every nativity skit we’ve watched at church. But what is the significance of this celestial body, apart from the fact it directed shepherds (and eventually the Magi) to Bethlehem? Stars do seem to play multiple roles throughout Scripture. Let’s analyze some verses in which they play an important part.
Matthew 24:29: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
Stars play a role here in the events at the End of Days. But on a brighter note, let’s take a look at the passage that talks about the star of David over Bethlehem (AKA: "The Christmas star").
Matthew 2:1-2 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
The star placed over the birthplace of Jesus points the way for the Magi to find him. Although many theologians have speculated as to which astronomical phenomena occurred with this star (including conjecture that Saturn and Jupiter had aligned to form the bright light), the star clearly brings people to Jesus. It lights the way to him. Therefore, when believers heard about the Christmas star of 2020, they understandably got excited about the parallels.
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What Is the ‘Christmas Star’ of 2020?
As mentioned above, the Christmas Star of 2020 will occur in late December when Saturn and Jupiter align. The two planets, together, will look like a “double planet” and will produce a significant amount of light.
You can observe the “star” on any position on Earth, clear skies dependent. But you’ll have the best chance to get a view of it on December 21. So during your preparations for the holiday season, take a break and get some night-sky viewing in.
Why Astronomical Events Are of Interest to Christians
It may seem like a surprise that so many Christians seem so invested in two planets aligning near the time of Christmas. Even apart from the Christmas season, it does seem the case that believers get excited about blood moons and other astronomical events. Why is this the case?
For the answer to that, we have to turn to Scripture.
Genesis 2:1 “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.”
First and foremost, God created the heavens and our planet. This includes every speckled star we see in the night sky. Of course we’d be invested in the beauty of creation that our Creator has formed for us.
Luke 21:25: “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves.”
One of the key signs that we’ve reached the events to occur in Revelation happens in a natural disaster level and via signs in the cosmos. Christians get excited about astronomical signs because it reminds us that Christ will come again to set the world right.
Revelation 8:12 “The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.”
At the end of days, we will see signs in the skies from the sun darkening, the moon turning blood red, and the stars falling like figs. Scripture has told us to watch vigilantly for the Day of the Lord, and when we see these signs, we will be ready for that day.
Of course, we should also add that it's dangerous to place all of our hope in astronomical signs and predictions. After all, none of us knows the day or hour in which the Son of Man will return. If we think back to the 2012 Mayan prediction of the end of the world, many believers thought the Second Coming would happen then. Or the number of blood moons that have occurred in the past few years.
3 Reasons The 'Christmas Star' of 2020 Brings Hope to Christians
Aside from the fact that stars are a delight to view during any season of the year, Christians have a number of great reasons to look forward to witnessing this star during the final month of 2020.
The Christmas Star Reminds Us of the Original 'Christmas Star'
Theologians have speculated if Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn’s alignment formed the first “Christmas star.” Considering we have two of those planets aligning now, something that hasn’t happened in this way for centuries, we get to have a very real and tangible reminder of what the star of David would have looked like during the birth of Jesus.
The Christmas Star Reminds Us of Jesus’ Second Coming
Astronomical signs point to the second coming of Christ. Although we cannot predict when he will return, when we see natural phenomena occurrences, we remember that such will be the conditions of the Last Days.
The Christmas Star Points Others to Jesus
In the same way the Christmas star lit the pathway for the Magi to find our Savior, we can use the star as an illustration for those who don’t yet know Jesus. We can explain to our non-believing friends and family members about the events that took place the night of Jesus’ birth when they talk about the bright “star” in the night sky.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Allanswart
Hope Bolinger is an editor at Salem, a multi-published novelist, and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 1,200 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her modern-day Daniel trilogy is out with IlluminateYA. She is also the co-author of the Dear Hero duology, which was published by INtense Publications. And her inspirational adult romance Picture Imperfect releases in November of 2021. Find out more about her at her website.
This article is part of our larger Christmas and Advent resource library centered around the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!
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