This fun new painting comes from Matthew's gospel, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." Stars. There are so many references to stars throughout the scriptures. This Advent I have been dwelling in God's promise to Abraham which he spoke under the star filled sky - descendants as numerous as the stars and through them all families of earth would be blessed. I've been wondering if the stars were a constant reminder to not lose hope or give up when Abraham didn't see the fulfillment of God's promise day after day. Eventually he did but there was a lot of in-between and possibly a lot of stargazing in the midst of the waiting. I so relate to this season. Fast forward to the birth of Christ, as a star of glory miraculously rises in the sky leading the magi to the king of kings. God's promise fulfilled in this new life. The blessing wrapped up in a manger as heaven opened with a multitude of heavenly host. The Greek word used for host in Luke's Gospel is "stratia" and can be defined as an army of heaven, troops of angels, or stars of heaven. The Bible says this wondrous sight cried out "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." The silent motionless stars of Abraham's sky are now erupting with movement manifesting glory and praise. The star of Bethlehem resting above the manger drawing people to the one who would be called the bright morning star - the morning star appears in the east just before sunrise ushering in the light of each day. Just as Jesus, whose name means rescue, deliver, or save, brings us out of the darkness of this world and into the God's eternal light. In Matthew's gospel he began with something important he wanted the readers to know, "This is the record if the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham." Every Advent I enjoy watching this thread weave throughout the biblical narrative from Abraham to Jesus, but this year I was drawn to the stars and the story they told through the silence and the singing. I believe God will finish what he started. If your holding onto a promise I pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you and shine his glorious face upon you this season. May you spend some time as we move into the new year under the stars. And may this year be the year of break through and singing! Hallelujah!