Mary Adams (23 Nov 2014)
"We have seen His star"

“We have seen His star in the east.....”
The wise men would never have seen that particular star unless they had been watching the night sky.
One of the first things I see after I wake up is the view in my window that faces east here in my bedroom. Lying in my bed, I  can see the sun rise or watch a full moon snake its way across the dark sky. Occasionally I am especially treated when the northern lights decide to put on a display, or watch a zillion stars dancing around the Big Dipper. 
Which reminds me: 
 Years ago we lived in Fairbanks, Alaska, north of the artic circle.   One new year’s eve, just as we stepped outside to leave a church service we attended in a small village called North Pole, the northern lights were so brilliantly awesome that night.  Looking upward, (even though the temperature was well below zero), nobody seemed to mind standing there in the cold looking at that night sky. We were transfixed by the sight of those brilliant yellow, green and red lights dancing up and down across the heavens, even streaking downward to almost touch my hands--- a sight emblazioned in my memory ever since it happened.
I also recall that there was an old Eskimo woman who sometimes attended that church.   She lived alone by herself in a small cabin, chopped her own firewood, cooked her own meals, and washed her own clothes. She told me that every morning she would first go to the east window in her kitchen to look out to see “if Jesus had returned”.  Simplistic, and perhaps extreme to most of us. But now that I am alone and 80 myself, what she said makes more sense to me every day I am still alive.
Perhaps a relative or a friend might check on her welfare, take her shopping, or give her a ride to church.  Nowadays there are government programs to help do those kind of things, yet as good and needful as they are, there is an element missing in all of that, that can never fill the place of “caring and loving” friends and family. 
I have a friend called Anita.  She and I met years ago when our husbands were still alive, went fishing together and had a grand time roaming around our beautiful Alaska. We call each other at least once a week, sometimes enjoy a lunch together at iHop and share conversation over a cup of coffee. Both of us are the same age and share our spiritual thoughts, memories and dreams. But one thing that runs through our minds is the same for both of us. We might try to imagine what life was like for that old Eskimo woman, living by herself in one of earth’s coldest places, knowing she would soon die, probably alone. For when our bodies can no longer lift the axe to chop our firewood, when we don’t hear so well or see things in focus like we used to do, our friends have passed on to their reward or the ones still around sometimes can’t remember, and a younger generation never heard, nor even care to hear what we experienced back when---we wonder.... isn’t it time?
That daily question can keep us old folks a bit apprehensive. 
But now that we once again are hearing the Christmas story, a nugget came along just as I was writing this: The answer to that is something this troubled, fearful generation needs to learn about; for it is the same for all of us, at any age, anywhere, included myself, even just as it was for those wise men 2,000 years ago who looked eastward:
She focused on His coming, rather than on her leaving. 
 “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.” (Ps 91:1)