As David and I were heading to the airport on Tuesday to catch a flight to Florida, we passed a certain community building that never fails to tick me off...not the building but the sign on the outside. They have a little portable marquis that prides itself in offending believers...not the marquis but the "spiritual leader" who puts the sayings on the marquis.
Have you figured out who I am talking about yet?
This time the marquis read: The story is a myth. The message is real.
Now, being Christmastime, I don't think it's a stretch to assume that they are referring to the Christmas story.
(Wait a minute...I need to let my blood pressure settle down...)
Twenty-four hours later, I found myself sitting in a room full of women, listening to my mother teach on the wisemen, and she touched on one of the supposed myths - the star of Bethlehem. Here's what she said:
"The heavens were declaring something specific to these men. Perhaps it was a comet, a light appearing in the midst of a conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Pisces (occuring every 805 years), a supernatural light that the Chinese astronomical tables record with no explanation, an interpretation of the constellations (lost to us today), or the Shekinah Glory that departed years before from the Temple...travelling to the east. This light came back from the east to the west. It might have been an angel (often referred to in Scripture as stars) because it was pretty specific when it stood over the place where Christ was."
Though the whole study was fascinating, this particular picture of an angel standing over the place where Jesus was has stuck with me. By the time the wisemen show up on the scene, Jesus is most likely a few years old. Mary and Joseph are living in a house. Can you imagine the wisemen and their entourage entering tiny Bethlehem and a spectacular, somber angel suspended above their home, with a stately outstretched finger pointing the way, as if to say, "Hey, guys, He's right here!"?
Matthew 2 tells us that the star stood over the place where Jesus was - sounds like a being, doesn't it?
It really doesn't matter to me what the star was. The fact that the star was really there and that the story is not a myth but true is what matters to me. There is a movement within Christianity that is trying to move away from the literal interpretation of the scriptures and join that certain man from Spring Lake in saying that even though the Bible is full of myths, it contains a great message.
I'm just not falling for it.
I choose to walk by faith, whether I can fully understand things or not, if God said it, then I believe it.
Truth be known, I have no idea which part of the "story" he thinks is a myth. I might be way off in my assumptions and if that is the case, I apologize for misinterpreting his sign. But if not, friends, study and know the Word so that you can be ready, in season and out, to defend it.