Meditation on a Christmas Tree Star
at the top of the tree
Stars are everywhere at Christmastime, topping trees, downtown streetlamps, window displays, and at the top of the highest stack at the former Bethlehem Steel plant. All, of course, referring back to the Star of Bethlehem.
Some speculate the actual star was Halley’s Comet or a cosmic event which caused some sort of brightening or starburst around the time of Christ’s birth. Most Christians seem to agree that its meaning was not only to mark the place where the Three Wise Men found the baby, but also their decision not to report back to Herod where to find the newborn savior-to-be. Their decision was one of peace in a violent world, and now the star is often referred to as the Star of Peace.
This universally esteemed meaning resonated with me, and a Star of Peace has topped every Christmas tree I’ve ever put up on my own. At least once during each year it is up I kick back in the twilight and just look at it, the lit up star atop the lit up tree. Sometimes my thoughts are peaceful. Many times they haven’t been. Life is like that.
This Christmas things are a little different than in the past. The notion of peace is not just universal but personal. It’s been a good year for stripping away the “noise” around everything that’s conducive to peace–clutter in the house, scattershot working life, health mysteries.
So far so good. There’s room to peacefully say hello to the new and to say goodbye to the old. A lot of different doors closed and new ones opened at the same time. Some were doors to old places, some were more recent, but all the new doors are equally new. And in the new lies hope.
Like the Wise Men who found something really new, we can choose not to go back to old ways that threaten to destroy it. There’s no good to be accomplished by returning to old bad habits behind old closed doors. In the new habits that you and I have formed, in the new paths we have forged, lie hope, and inner peace.