“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony . . . I am . . . the bright Morning Star”  (Revelation 22:16, NIV).

When I was a child, we topped off our tree with a star that glowed, especially when lights were low. Twinkling, glistening, that tree and its star were the focal point of our holiday.  Growing up without Christ, I did not understand the significance of the star, that wise men from the East followed it to the place where the Christ child lay. I did know that Christmas trees were incomplete without the crown of a star.

Today sparkly stars don our tree. But, for me, this Christmas season has been enriched as I meditate on another star in His story. In Revelation 22:16, the last page of the Bible, Jesus refers to Himself as the bright Morning Star. What an unusual term!  And, who needs a star in the morning? But wait. He’s talking about the end of earth’s story when the world as we know it will be replaced with a new heaven and a new earth. In Revelation 21:23, we learn that the new heaven and earth do not need the sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

There are two stars in Jesus’ story. The evening star pointed to His coming to earth as a man to shed His blood for the sins of the world. But He will return as the Morning Star to make everything new.  So this Christmas, as the sun breaks over a crisp December horizon, let’s celebrate not just the beauty of His birth two millennia ago, but also the glory of His returning. He’s coming back as the Morning Star to usher in a bright new day of peace, justice, and joy. We won’t need stars to top our trees then because the bright Morning Star will be with us forever in all His glorious radiance.