Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Seeing the Cross in the Star

It has been there for seven years.  It has actually been there for longer than that, I am sure, but I have just finished my seventh Advent in Broadway Baptist Church, so this is the seventh year for me to see the beautiful Moravian star that hangs over the choir loft in our sanctuary throughout Advent.

It is an unusal Christmas decoration, this Moravian star, and it never fails to catch my eye.  Yet it took seven years for me to notice the cross superimposed on this star.  Perhaps these phots taken with the relatively poor camera on my smartphone do not do it justice, but once you see it, you cannot miss it.  It is definitely there.  The star, for all its wonder and light, carries an unmistakable image of the cross.

You can see some of the outlines, but these pictures really are not very good.  If you are in the sanctuary, you can see the edges of each individual ray of the star, and so instead of just seeing the exterior perimeter, you can see the intersections that form, from certain angles, that undeniable cross.

It is a good message to take with us into the new year.  Christmas is beauty and wonder.  The star is a miraculous guide for those from far away to come and worship.  The times of Advent and Epiphany are pungent reminders of entry of God into the world... of Emmanuel, God with us.

But we cannot forget that this child was born to die.  We need to be reminded that perhaps the same forest whose wood was used for a manger may also have been plundered for the beams that were set at right angles to create a means of execution.  We remember what we know, that the fulfillment of the prophecy that He would save His people from their sins required the fulfillment of another prophecy: that without the shedding of blood there is no remission.

Through the beauty of Christmas, there always is the reminder of the purpose for His coming.  You always need to see the cross in the star.


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