Creator of the Stars at Night

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December 24, 2012 Tags: Christ & New Creation

Today's entry was written by Mark Sprinkle. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here.


Tonight and tomorrow, Christians around the world stop to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem just over two thousand years ago. The familiar narrative of Joseph leading Mary to the stable to give birth to the Messiah, of the angels telling the shepherds in the fields of the great event that was happening nearby, and of the three men from the east who came to pay homage to the new King of Israel is re-told or acted out in countless churches, schools and homes. And from countless pulpits, the message goes out that those events are not just a quaint story and an excuse to give gifts, but the central mystery of our faith—that God himself became one of us in order to redeem us and the cosmos from our bondage to sin and death. That mystery—that the Creator God is also the Redeemer Christ—has been to focus of our worship since the first days of the church, and is the subject of the 7th-century Latin hymn Conditor alme siderum, presented here in a new setting from Alex Mejias and High Street Hymns.

While this recording includes only verses one and three from the original text (given in full below), it adds a refrain that catches the spirit of the whole hymn and emphasizes the longing we still feel even in our Christmas joy—the “already, but not yet” state in which we find ourselves today, living between that first Advent and the second Advent yet to be: “Come, O come to us!” For while we know that God has come to us in Jesus—that his death and resurrection have redeemed us and the universe—we are still waiting for that final consummation, depending on the Spirit to be working out our salvation even now. Until the time when, as the hymn says, “all hearts must bow,” the entire BioLogos community invites you to join us in the blessed work of declaring, celebrating, and following the Christ who is both Creator and Savior.

Creator of the Stars at Night

Creator of the stars of night,

thy people's everlasting light,

O Christ, Redeemer of us all,

we pray you hear us when we call.

In sorrow that the ancient curse

should doom to death a universe,

you came, O Savior, to set free

your own in glorious liberty.

When this old world drew on toward night,

you came; but not in splendor bright,

not as a monarch, but the child

of Mary, blameless mother mild.

At your great Name, O Jesus, now

all knees must bend, all hearts must bow;

all things on earth with one accord,

like those in heaven, know you are Word.

Come in your holy might, we pray,

redeem us for eternal day;

defend us while we dwell below

from all assaults of our dread foe.

To God Creator, God the Child,

and God the Spirit, sane and wild,

praise, honor, might, and glory be

from age to age eternally.

Alex Mejias is the founder and director of High Street Hymns, a non-profit music ministry that exists to spread the Gospel and worship the Triune God in spirit and truth through hymns, psalms and spiritual songs. Alex grew up in New Jersey and outside Washington, DC, receiving a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. For the past 15 years he has been leading worship for churches and ministries, writing and recording both new and old hymns, and touring the east coast as a singer-songwriter. Alex is also committed to the power of the creative arts to advance the Gospel and promote justice and healing in the name of Christ, serving, supporting, and collaborating with several other non-profit ministries.


Mark Sprinkle is an artist and cultural historian, and was formerly Senior Web Editor and Senior Fellow of Arts and Humanities for The BioLogos Foundation. A phi beta kappa graduate of Georgetown University, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, where he studied how artworks embody complex relationships in different cultural contexts. Since 1996 he has been an independent artist and frame-maker, also regularly writing and speaking on the role of creative practices in cultural mediation and renewal, especially in the area of science and Christian faith. Mark and his wife Beth home-schooled their three boys, and are active in the local home-school community in Richmond, Virginia.


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Roger A. Sawtelle - #75671

December 25th 2012

Mark,

Thank you for reminding us that Jesus, the Word/Logos and Savior was born on Christmas.

While I hesitate to bring controversy into this Christmas mediatation, this point is an important aspect of what we have been discussing.  The only thing that you did not mention is that Jesus is the Logos, the rational Word of God. 

It is all God’s and it is all intelligently designed.

This is from the BioLogos Questions, with which we can all agree.  On the other hand the statement says that BioLogos is comfortable with the mainstream scientific understanding of evolution.

Neodarwinism as I understand it does not agree that evolution and life is intelligently designed, and this contradiction throws everyone off.  


wesseldawn - #75708

December 27th 2012

The Christmas story is not the Biblical perspective. For example the wise men and shepherds did not visit at the same time as popularly supposed. The shepherds visited the new born baby (both Mary and Joseph were present) but only Mary was present at the wise men’s visit and they were then living in a house and Jesus was no longer an infant:

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. (Matt. 2:11)

The Christmas story has the wise men following a celestial body (planet) that appeared in the East however, “stars” in the Bible refers to “angels”:

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7 - see also Gen. 6:2 and Job 1:6)

morning stars - sons of God = angels

The star would have been seen in the east because that’s where Paradise/Garden of Eden/Heaven) is located and of course angels would come from heaven.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was (Matt. 2:9)

The book of the Secrets of Adam and Eve explains the reason why the three wise men presented Jesus with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh:

 Then God commanded the three angels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, each to bring what he had brought, and give it to Adam. And they did so, one by one.

6 And God commanded Suriyel and Salathiel to bear up Adam and Eve, and bring them down from the top of the high mountain, and to take them to the Cave of Treasures.

7 There they laid the gold on the south side of the cave, the incense on the eastern side, and the myrrh on the western side. For the mouth of the cave was on the north side.

8 The angels then comforted Adam and Eve, and departed.

9 The gold was seventy rods; the incense, twelve pounds; and the myrrh, three pounds. (Chapter XXX1)

We don’t know the actual date of Jesus’ birth. December 25th is actually a pagan holiday as Emporer Constantine combined the ancient worship of the sun god with early Christian teaching to create the new Christianity.


wesseldawn - #75759

December 31st 2012

Another Christian inconsistency is that the wise men followed the star all the way from the east and it led them directly to the infant, Jesus. However, the wise men did not know which way to go, it was Herod that inquired of the priests and scribes:

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

The star only reappeared when they departed for Bethlehem.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

They would not rejoice with such great joy when the star reappeared if it had been leading them all the way.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. (Matt. 2:1-12)


Jellymee Cily - #76898

February 26th 2013

This is such a beautiful piece for reflection. We have a very lovely and contemplative weekly evening prayer in Advent and this is our opening hymn. 

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