January 4, 2015: More Stars Than on Hollywood Blvd

Posted on : Jan 2nd, 2015 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Our English word “disaster” comes from the medieval word “dis-astron” – to be without (dis) a star (astron). It is said that the root meaning of this word comes from the Christmas star that leads the wisemen or magi to the place where Christ is born.

These wisemen, or “Three Kings” or Magi – whatever you want to call them; they are known by many different names but have one thing in common – they were not from within the community of faith. In fact, they were “pagan.” That is, they were not Jewish and they were certainly not Christian. Tradition now holds that they were probably Zoroastrian priests.   This, of course, must drive conservative and biblical literalist folks nuts!

They however, were the ones who were led to Jesus because….well, in all honesty, they didn’t think it was stupid or irreligious or even “sinful” to follow a star. We can learn a lot from their tradition!

I was quite surprised a year or so ago to discover through one of our Still Speaking Devotionals that our English word “Disaster” comes from the medieval word “dis-astron” – to be without (dis) a star (astron).

As I think on this, I am aware that many of the disasters in my life come about when I try to live without the star. That is, without the light of Christ guiding me. I think the same is often true with the disasters we create in our country and in the international scene. A lot of the mess we make is because we are not following any star.

I believe we need a star to follow. For me, that star is the light of Christ’s life. Jesus was pretty wise to teach that the light and love of God that was in him, now lives in and through each of us! That’s what his teaching about “You are the light of the world” means, doesn’t it?

As we enter this New Year, I hope and pray that we will not be “dis-astron” – without (dis) a star (astron); but rather enlightened and enlivened by the radiance of Christ’s love. And if we were, just imagine how different our lives might be!




~ This Sunday’s Scriptures ~


Isaiah 60: 1-6


“Arise, shine, for your light has come!

The glory of God is rising upon you!


Though darkness still covers the earth,

and dense clouds enshroud the peoples,

upon you God now dawns,

and God’s glory will be seen among you!


The nations will come to your light,

and the leaders to your bright dawn!


Lift up your eyes, and look around:

all are gathering and coming to you –

your daughters and your sons

journey from afar, escorted in safety;

you’ll see them and beam in joy,

your heart will be thrilled and rejoicing.


The abundance of the sea will flow to you,

and the wealth of the nations will come to you –

camel caravans will cover your roads;

everyone in Sheba will come,

bringing gold and frankincense,

and singing the praise of God.


Matthew 5: 14-16

You are the light of the world.

A city set on a hill cannot be hid.

No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel, but rather, one puts it on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

Let your light shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your God who is in heaven.

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