For centuries, scientists and theologians have struggled to explain the origins of the Christmas Star, the mysteriously spectacular sky event that led the Magi, or Wise Men, to their new-born leader, Jesus Christ.
There are many theories, including that this ‘star’ wasn’t a star at all but instead a bright comet appearing in the constellation of Capricorn, a supernova, or even a rare (796.4 years between occurrences) conjunction of the three superior planets – Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Some have even suggested it was simply a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction which even in 7 BC, was a predictable and well-watched for event within both Mesopotamian and Hellenistic traditions.
There is hard ‘evidence’ to support any and all of these theories ranging from archaeological interpretations of an Antioch coin minted during the period to the Chinese sighting of a comet in 5 BC. There is plenty of soft ‘evidence’ too including Balaam’s Old Testament prophecy that ‘a star will come forth out of Jacob and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel’ – (Numbers 24.17).
The point here is not that one theory is better than another any more than it is that the Christmas Star was merely a political construct (another supportable theory).
Instead, the point is that we all need to be ever vigilant as to the assumptions we choose to make about actual experiences as well as to the way in which we construct ‘evidence’ to support our assumptions. A wise man once told me that if, as one would peel a onion, any belief or assumption were stripped away layer by layer, it would reveal itself to have no core.
Like Iben, are you willing to challenge your beliefs and assumptions?
If so, I look forward to working with you!