Recently, we saw a planetarium show on The Christmas Star. The night sky was transformed to what the stars would have looked like when Jesus was born. Speculations abound as to what astronomical anomaly would have been so fantastic to lure wise men away from their homes and cause them to travel many hundreds of miles following a bright light in search of the promised Messiah.
Although no one knows exactly when Jesus was born and therefore can only speculate as to what the night sky would have looked like, we do know that the heavens announced Jesus’ birth both through the Star of Bethlehem and through the heavenly host praising God in the company of the shepherds. It was an event like no other; one that would change the course of history and provide hope to all those who have faith and believe.
Not all events are so far-reaching, memorable or even positive. In fact, as we think on 2013, we recognize that this year in particular has presented our family with many challenges both personally and ministry-wise, from the loss of loved ones, to physical ailments, to the difficulties of living cross-culturally.
Even so, we take joy in reflecting on God’s goodness throughout the year highlighting some remarkable events: a particular lecture by Gustavo that made a poignant impact on a student’s life; the neighborhood high school students who experienced God’s love through the living testimony of the youth from Park Street Church; the impoverished family whose hope is lifted due to newly introduced economic development possibilities; the local church youth group whose knowledge, understanding and love of Jesus has increased due to our investment into their lives; our own family’s growing attachment to and care of the Colombian people and an increased love of their culture, land and way of life.
When the events in our lives don’t turn out as planned, there might be some who wish there were something as obvious as a star to follow and to lead them. Others might appreciate a host of angels singing words of approval that the path they are on is a good one. Still others are unsure of what to hope for or to look towards.
During this season of advent as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, my prayer is that we all look to Jesus to be our star, our celestial orchestra, allowing Him to lead us to a life full of purpose, direction and meaning. It is through the birth of Jesus, that we have hope – an eternal hope.
Merry Christmas, Gustavo, Rochelle, Emilio, Caroline and Natalie Karakey