“A star shall come forth from Jacob, A scepter shall rise from Israel.” (Numbers 24:17, NASB)
Let’s go see the lights!” That was the cry of the kids when shortly after Thanksgiving Christmas lights started popping up in the surrounding neighborhoods. I don’t care how old you are, the sight of those lights just ignites excitement deep down inside. You know something is coming soon—Christmas!
In our house, the official act declaring that it’s “Christmas time” is not just when we get the snow village arranged meticulously on the same table. Nor is it when the stockings are hung over the fireplace. Nor is it when we set out the wooden house with our homemade cave under it where we will put the figurines of Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds, with baby Jesus in the manger. No, Christmas time is “officially” here when we place the star on top of the tree! An angel at the top of the tree might be a good idea for some, but it doesn’t make the cut in our household. It’s the star that signals the start of the Christmas season! That’s when Christmas has officially begun! The tree star has been a tradition handed down from generation to generation in the Hatteberg family.
The star was also the official sign that it’s “Christ’s time.” The wise men (magi) had seen “His star” (Matt. 2:2) and knew it was the symbol of a king. Daniel’s high position in the Babylonian kingdom to the east may have given him an opportunity to describe the “star of Jacob,” the coming Messiah. And that information might also have been handed down from generation to generation as a special sign of a special event.
Whether it’s the actual star on your tree or something else, make sure to keep your focus this year on “the Star.” May you and your family join our family in making this “Christmas time” truly a “Christ time!”