North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose 

A headline on a world news website read: “Rare Star of Bethlehem to Appear December 21st. It hasn’t been seen in almost 8 centuries”. Supposedly, the two largest planets in our solar system, SaturnandJupiter will align to create what’s sometimes referred to as the “Christmas Star” or the “Star of Bethlehem.” When the planets line up on the day making the start of the winter solstice, they will appear to form a double planet. This alignment of planets fascinates me. I believe there’s a great need for each one of us to pause and reflect on the significance of this great festival of lights. Why is this so important to life? What are we in a place of privilege to experience this spectacle?

The Wise Men from the Christmas Story had been watching and waiting for the Star that had been prophesized. And in Matthew 2:2, they said, “We have seen his Star in the East, and have come to worship him.” How fitting that “the Star” that shown so bright would lead them to Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus has had a divine light shining on him from the very beginning. Jesus would later describe himself as “the light of the world” (John 8:12).

In these modern times we find ourselves in a place of privilege to be able to follow his light and to find him. I reflect once again on the privilege that came to Bethlehem those many Christmas’ long ego. Bethlehem was picked by God as the cradle city for the Son of God. Why Bethlehem? Why not Jerusalem, the seat of religious power? Or Rome, the center of political power? Or Athens, the center of intellectual power? This was a message sent by God. The hope that will help us transcend the fears of this world is not in religion, politics, philosophy. God privileged the little town of Bethlehem. And He privileges everyone of us as followers of Christ. If we have received Jesus, we have the message of hope the world needs.

Let this Christmas become a Bethlehem moment for you. Like Bethlehem, you can awaken to a brand-new world. The same Christ born in Bethlehem can be born again in you. The apostle Paul said, “I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives” (Galatians 4:19).

Bethlehem was privileged to be Christ’s birthplace. What a greater privilege for Christ to be born in you. Phillip Brooks wrote, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”

You see, like the planets that align to show us nature’s brilliance, when we align ourselves with Christ, we shine our brightest. He helps us be the best of ourselves and the world will be able to see who you are.

A friend of mine told me how she got sick, low on energy, and felt she was in a dark place. She turned to the Scriptures and aligned herself with God’s Word. She prayed seven Scriptures specifically. The next day she woke up refreshed, healed, and didn’t lack for a renewed energy. It is the privilege of every person and Christian to come into the light and allow the light of life to shine on us and through us. The challenge for us all is our willingness to align ourselves with God’s purposes.

Wise men still seek him today! Wise women still seek him today! Surround yourself with positive people that will not distract you from the right things. Don’t let people pull you into the dark places of the world. Align yourself with people and things that will make you better. Allow the birth of Christ to come alive in you. Merry Christmas!

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a Public Health Services Manager for the Florida Department of Health, former U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York, Florida community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. Amazon.com. You can contact him by email: rmdobson@liberty.edu.

Posted by on Dec 20 2020. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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