‘And They Bowed Down’
By DANNY MINTON
About this time last year, my class watched the film “The Star.” It’s an intriguing study that a lawyer did trying to find out what the phenomenon in the universe called the Star of Bethlehem actually was. I’m not necessarily saying his research is without flaw. It’s a topic that will be discussed from now until the Lord comes (by the way, which could be Friday, according to the Mayan Calendar).
In his research using a program called Starry Nights, the program calculated where individual stars and planets were at any given time in history. A strange phenomenon happened around 3 BC with Jupiter’s conjunction, and the star Regales that would match the Bible’s events. This event occurred at his highest point right around December 25. But supposedly, this is when the “star” appeared to stop, which would be when the Magi from the east arrived bearing gifts to the baby Jesus living in a house. Thus the first Christmas as we celebrate it would have been not at the birth of Jesus, but when the Magi came and found him.
Another interesting thing to note is that many scholars believe Jesus died on Friday, April 3, 33 AD. This is close to 9 months earlier in the year than when the Magi came to visit. Is it possible that Jesus died on the same day that he was born? The Calendar for the year 3 BC has it starting on a Thursday. April 3, 3 BC, was also a Friday.
Of course, no one knows for sure. The important thing is that more people are thinking of Jesus at the same time than any other season of the year. Everywhere you turn, people in one way or another are reminded of Jesus’ coming to this world in which we live. Movies, songs, and pictures, everywhere you turn are in their silent way proclaiming the birth of the Son of God. What an opportunity to spread the Good News.
The important thing is not the dates of his birth or death. The important thing is that:
Whatever message we send to the world today, may it all be centered on what happened the night that the Magi visited the home of a baby that came to save the world.
“and they bowed down and worshipped him.”
Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ.