For many thousands of years, humanity has been a observing what is essentially the middle of the darkest time of the year. In the northern hemisphere the winter solstice is the darkest day of the year, with almost three quarters of the day being dark. Every culture has placed their own significance on this event, but this year’s winter solstice has something even more special in store for us.
The planets Jupiter and Saturn will be in a Great Conjunction in the night sky, tonight. This means that they will be closeer together in the night sky from Earth’s view than they have been in the past 400 years. it is quite possible that this natural phenomenon is responsible for what we call the Christmas Star, the “star” that guided the Magi (wise men) to Jesus. If the stars, or planets in our case, had not alighned perfectly, Jesus could have been killed by King Herod, as an infant. Herod was the Roman appointed King of the Jews, and he was not going to allow a man under his rule to be called king. He knew that Jesus would be the Messiah and rightful King, so he sent men to kill every baby boy under two years old, as Herod didn’t know who the Messiah was. Jesus’s family escaped, and they returned home after Herod died.
It will not be the first time that this star has saved someone’s life. Tonight, many people will see it, and they will remember Christ. And they will seek him, and in doing so they will find our Father. And they will love Him, because they will know they are His children, and He takes full and good care of those who love Him. Love Him, and He will fully care for you, as well. If you do not wish to have a life with Him, He understands, and He will exclude Himself from your life. That’s how much He loves you. He will not force you into slavery, but our Father is so good that He allows us to make every single choice for ourselves. He will not save us from ourselves, but He allows us to reap the consequences of our actions.
It was a year ago today that my seven years began. Seven fat years, after seven lean years. This does not mean it is time to rest, although time is allotted for rest. But there are six more years until I need to accomplish what God is calling me to do.
Today, I’m reminded of my grandfather who was buried a year ago. He was a veteran of the US Navy (Korean War), so he was entitled to a military funeral, which includes a gun salute. I don’t know how many bullets were fired in total, but I picked up one of the empty bullet casings and put it in my coat pocket. I wanted something to remember him by, and I will always remember that day and the smell of gun powder in the air and the silence that was halted for a moment to honor a fallen soldier. After he left the navy, he began his tour of duty for God. And it didn’t stop until the day he died. Even in his old age, when Alzheimer’s disease had taken most of the man I remember, he showed me that you don’t always have to be working for God but just living in a way that honors our Father is what counts the most.
My uncle, my grandfather’s only son, came up to me later that day and handed me another bullet casing. I had two, now, one for him and one for me.
A few months later, I went to go visit his wife, my step- grandmother, because I wanted to know more about the man that I had been very distant from for a number of years. She told me about a man who was loving, endearing, affectionate, and many other things that I was told that he wasn’t. We cried, each of us for our different reasons. Before I left, and without me prompting her in any way, she asked me if I would like to have something to remember him by. It was bullet casing number three.
He is one of my daily inspirations. My grandmother also gave me a stuffed lion, which was one of my grandfather’s favorite items, and one that I remember seeing in his house for many years. The king of the jungle is a grand sire, majestic in every way, just like the man I remember.