By Debra Whittington
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. Matthew 2:1-2
Having two young friends helping decorate the Christmas tree made a very enjoyable day for me. This is one task that Mark absolutely refuses to help with although he rather reluctantly gets the tree out each year and sets it up. Afterwards he always seems to have something else to do and leaves quickly.
Each year I decorated the tree alone and even though I enjoy doing it, this year it was wonderful to have someone to share the task with me. I enjoyed watching the girls unpack the ornaments and comment on them as they placed them on the tree.
In one box was a glass star that somehow got broken when it was packed away. The older sister seemed bothered by it and asked if I minded if she took the broken pieces home with her. I never thought she would want a broken star and I had already thought I would just throw the pieces away. She carefully put the pieces away and went back to work. Soon the broken ornament was forgotten and the tree was decorated. Although I was tired at the end of the day, the time I shared with the girls was a memory I will cherish especially when I look at the Christmas tree.
A couple of days later the older sister came to find me at church. She gave me a small package, which contained the star. It was no longer in pieces, but was whole again. She shared that she put the pieces back together using a hot glue gun. She said it took all evening and she even burned her fingers a few times but was determined to fix it.
This gesture of love touched my heart. I came home and placed the star in a prominent place on the Christmas tree where the lights shine through it. Once Christmas is over, I plan to display it someplace where it will serve as a reminder of a young girl’s love and willingness to do something for me.
Studying the star and how beautiful it looked reminded me of a star that appeared in the sky over 2000 years ago. Wisemen from the east came in search of the reason for the star. What they found was Jesus. They worshipped Him, giving Him gifts before returning to their own country.
The star for Jesus was only the beginning. Just as my broken star was repaired, so too Jesus can repair broken lives leaving them a thing of beauty for His light to shine through.
While Christmas is a time of joy for many people it can also be the most depressing season of the year for others. All of us have faced sorrow and hardships in our lives, but some were left with a pain that refuses to go away. It would be easy to just give up like I was ready to give up on that broken star. However if we turn everything over to Jesus, He is able to take those broken pieces and turn them into something of great beauty.
David was no stranger to sorrow. In Psalm 69, he cries out to the Lord to save him from all of his troubles. In Psalm 23 he acknowledges his shepherd who will always be with him. With all the mighty things Elijah did in his life, he was ready to give up. (See 1 Kings 19) Paul faced persecution in his life but was comforted by God, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-11)
The Bible is full of verses of hope for those who are hurting. Space limits me sharing all of them but here are a few: Psalm 34:183, Psalm 147:3, Matthew 11:28-29, James 4:8, 1 Peter 5:7, John 16:33, 2 Corinthians 4:14-18, Romans 5:1-5.
The Christmas season is the perfect time to remember that the baby born in the manger is the same one as the Savior of the world. It is that same Jesus who can take the broken pieces of our lives and turn them into a star of beauty.