Christmas: Star of Hope
Do you remember the story of the first Christmas? Yes. It was a bleak period in ancient times. Folks were escaping the wrath and insecurity of the incumbent ruler. A prophecy was declared that a new King shall be born into the world.
So, he decreed that every infant shall see no light of day. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem. It was safe there. And, as it is perennially sung, no room and crib for the King. Joseph kept knocking on Inn’s doors but Innkeepers shrugged and replied there is no more room- every Inn is full.
Providentially, one hospitable owner offered a manger ever so hesitantly. To the small family, that will do. Yes, that will do. Thus, the Infant Jesus was born in a manger among domesticated animals like cows, donkeys, and sheep.
A dark night it was. A cold night it was. But it was solemn. And, it was special. For the Infant of Jesus was born that night. He is the fulfillment of the Promise of Hope. He is among us. He is with us. Our Emmanuel.
Did you notice in our day-to-day living? That during daytime we only see one star which is the Sun? Then, when it is cloudy the world gets dimmer. When it is rainy it becomes more dim. If it is stormy, it is gloomy.
How about during night time? In the modern age, we have been used to Electricity that only if there is a Power Outage then we realize that it is truly, deeply dark. We use man-made tools to see our way; candles, lamps, and flashlights.
If all of them are gone. Maybe, if we decide to step out of our house then we rediscover the starlit skies. Yes indeed, the stars that form constellations and the moon and planets if we use telescopes.
The stars at night help- until now -seafarers and sailors and navy and fishermen and coastguard and seamen navigate the seas and the oceans. Only one unique man-made structure call them home: the lighthouse.
In life, we can see an analogy of our lives to that of the Stars. During daytime we see a lot. We see everything in sight. Happiness and successes. Joyful cherished memories are made. No problems and no worries. You can go anywhere you want and do anything as well.
When it rains, it gets a little bit bothersome. We need raincoats and umbrellas. These are like the minor setbacks we encounter in life. Time to pay the water, internet, phone, cable, and electric bill. We need food and clothing and shelter. There is an urgent need for employment opportunities.
Storms would be the difficult moments in our life. Losing family members and friends. Losing jobs and homes. Losing our health and youth. We only realize the value of something or someone when their presence turn into absence.
Then, the dreaded nighttime comes. Loneliness, depressions, mishaps, accidents, bankruptcies, evictions, scholastic failures, traumatic deaths, and the other myriad sufferings that mark our humanity.
Where is Hope? During daytime? Where is Hope? During a cloudy day? Where is Hope? During a rainy day? Where is Hope? During a stormy day? But above all else, where is Hope during nighttime? Is Hope elusive? Is Hope a fair weather friend?
He never left. Philosophically, He is the Unmoved. At daytime we were busy collecting stones while we missed the diamonds. We took Him for granted. On a cloudy day, our faith in Him faltered yet He is with us. When it rains in our life, we questioned Him. However, He continues to answer our prayers. In times of storms, He is our shelter and evacuation center.
God created the Stars. Since time immemorial, poets and painters have immortalized them in a Good Light. With light we can see the beauty of His Creation. A baby’s face. The grandeur of Nature. Christmas reminds us that we have to look for the Star of Hope. And, we forget sometimes that like His foster father, Saint Joseph, He keeps knocking on the door of our heart. But, keep in mind that it is always up to you if you want Hope in your life, because that door can only be opened from the inside, for that door has no knob on the outside. (Freewill)