Wednesday, December 12, 2012

To Retire a Star

I hope you can imagine Bob and Dorothy Forsythe sitting in their front room in 1963 with the intention of making a large star to hang on their house for Christmas. Supplies like plywood, paint and a string of lights were sitting on the floor in front of them. No plans, no template, just imagination and a willingness to get the job done. After several hours the Christmas star was complete and ready to be hung.

Bob and Dorothy took the star with them to New Brunswick and when they moved back to PEI they decided to give it to St. Paul’s Church in 1984.  It has hung over the altar every Christmas since. I like to keep it hanging throughout Epiphany season too. It is a mighty good looking star and helped make an extremely beautiful building even more so during Christmas and Epiphany.

Just like real suns, eventually stars die. Last year this wonderful star went super nova and shocked Clar when it was being installed. Oh sure, those of us on the ground had a good laugh, but we all agreed that it was time to retire the Christmas star.  So, with Bob and Dorothy’s blessing their beautiful star is retired and replaced.

There’s an important lesson for us in the story of this beautiful Christmas star.  Good traditions like hanging the Christmas star reminds us that it was a star that led Magi (wise people) to worship Jesus, and it is said of Jesus that he is the Light of the World.  That star hung over the altar for many years and it is sad to lose it, because it was our star. Knowing the story behind the star makes it even sadder.  A new star will hang there this year, a different star, but a star that carries with it exactly the same purpose as the old one: to remind us of God’s love, expressed most perfectly in the infant Jesus.

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