Shine More Brightly, Star of Bethlehem

Rev. Joseph Isakoff
Tel Aviv, Israel

Congratulations to you, wise men from the East! I see you nearing Bethlehem, tired after the long journey. Your eyes follow the radiance of the star, and your thoughts and hearts are directed toward the newborn Saviour. You are longing to kneel, to worship and offer Him your treasures.

Congratulations to you, too, humble shepherds. You leave your flocks and run straight to the manger to praise in faith and adoration the heavenly Babe.

Yes, because your hearts are sincere, you are able to see the revelation of the Divine. Yes, your souls, like ripened fruit, grow heavier with wisdom – you do not find satisfaction in the temporal and transitory, but you are searching for treasures which moths and thieves cannot destroy.

Congratulations to all of you, dreamers, longing for a new world of goodwill and lasting peace. Blessed are you! Rejoice and be glad: Christ, the King of Peace is born!

Oh, wise men and humble shepherds, perhaps you are stronger in mind and character than we are. Nearly two thousand years are separating us. During this stretch of time, we have climbed high on the ladder of progress; we have gained more knowledge, greater wealth and spiritual culture. You kept your eyes watchful; you kept your hearts directed toward the Light, and you longed for justice, equity and peace.

We dare not compare your way with ours. You, wise men and humble shepherds, went to adore the newborn King in spirit and truth. And we, do we go earnestly to worship the Saviour of the world, sent by God? Is it not strange and perplexing that nearly two thousand years after Christ’s death, He does not yet have entrance into many lives?

Hark! The bells are ringing in exultation proclaiming the dawn of the Light and Hope for the world; the lowly One whose life is expressed in perfect harmony, idea and deed; who came into the world with a new light – the mighty Light of pure and unlimited love.

Shine more brightly, you star of Bethlehem! Consume the darkness in your mighty radiance, thus to illuminate our contemporary leaders that they might abandon their uncertain ways and turn to the sure, Divine Way. Ring out more brightly, you Christmas bells! Ring more briskly and waken hearts and conscience. Let the deaf hear; let the blind see: Christ is born – joy for those of faith; peace and love for all trusting in Him.

You, who are wandering in darkness, turn to the Light! You, who are mourning, be comforted. You, who are longing for the Kingdom of God and His voice ? rejoice – here is Christ, your Saviour. Be happy and rejoice – Christ the Lord is born.

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