When we need big answers, we ask big questions. We then find the right time and place to start our search. For some, the smallness of a prayer closet on bended knee is the perfect place to begin seeking answers. For others, seeking takes place beneath the expanse of the heavens.
I began asking the big questions of life as a 16-year-old in my parents’ front yard in rural Louisiana. The lights of the city more than twenty miles away could not diminish the stars as they swirled, weaving together into a glorious night sky. My big questions needed answers that only a big God who created a big universe could answer.
Every Christmas season, we unpack nativities. Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus along with the shepherds are all placed carefully in the creche. The Magi – Balthasar, Melchior and Casper – are then unwrapped from crinkled tissue and added. To complete the story, angels, in all their glory, are positioned as sentries.
My mom crafted the family nativity from liquid clay that filled plaster molds of each character – the tallest one reaching nineinches. Removed from the molds, the ceramic bisque pieces were painted with creamy, pearlescent glaze and fired in a kiln. I had the honored task of placing the nativity every year beneath the Christmas tree. I would lay on my tummy for hours looking at their shiny surfaces reflecting the tree’s lights. Music in the background played and the words of stars and “everlasting light” captured my imagination. “O little town of Bethlehem how still we see the lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.”
For years, the Hebrew people looked to God for the Messiah. They knew all their big questions would be answered when the deliverer was revealed. Yet, few thought to look up to the heavens.
It was high above the shepherds’ heads that the angels heralded: “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
The Magi, with fixed gazes on the heavens, “saw his star when it rose.”
It was the Christmas Star that illuminated the birth of the Christ, unveiling the answer that all had sought.
Jesus said he was the answer to every question we would ever ask –– “I am the way and the truth and the life.” While others look in myriad places seeking truth, a wise person only has to look up into the eyes of the “light of the world.”
More than 40 years ago, gazing at the stars from my yard and praying to my big God, I found the answer to all my questions. It was then that I committed myself to serve Jesus in all of life. And it is to Him that I turn to again and again when the darkness of the world threatens. I stop, look up, gaze upon a star, and I’m reminded that in Him there is no darkness, only life-giving light.
Article Written by Jim Edminson, Editor