Joseph and Mary on donkey nearing Bethlehem at night

The Christmas Star, a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn occurs Monday, December 21. This alignment occurs every 800 years. Learn more about this exciting, once in a lifetime event in the articles by Pastor Craig and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) video below.

Video: How to See Saturn and Jupiter’s Great Conjunction

Which Star? Christ and the Star of Bethlehem
by Dr. Craig Johnson

I. THE CELESTIAL PAGEANTRY OF 3/2 B.C.

(A) August 12th 3 B.C.

Jupiter/Venus Conjunction.

One hour and twenty minutes before sunrise, Jupiter arose as a morning star in conjunction with Venus, (Ishtar the mother — Goddess of fertility).  Jupiter, (the father of the gods), left the sun to join Venus indicating a royal event in the Jewish nation. This occurred while the sun (supreme father) and moon (mother) and Mercury (the messenger of the gods) was in Leo, the sign of Judah.

(B) September 1st 3 B.C.

Venus/Mercury Conjunction

Twenty days later Mercury (the messenger) left the sun (father) and conjoined with Venus (mother) just as the sun entered Virgo the Virgin.  Mercury and Venus were in Leo and Jupiter was just entering Leo. This again symbolizes a royal birth among the Jews. The supreme Father sends His Son born of a Virgin, the descendant of Judah who is introduced by a Messenger.

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Why Bethlehem
by Dr. Craig Johnson

But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judea, from you one will go forth for me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth from long ago, from the days for eternity.” (Micah 5:2)

Six miles southwest of Jerusalem there was a town in Judea known as Bethlehem, both its names, Bethlehem and Ephrathah spoke of fruitfulness. In all spiritual geography, no soil is more sacred than this. Seven hundred years before the coming of Christ, the prophet Micah marks the cities insignificance, as a city too remote to ever become a place of importance, none could have been more appropriate for the birthplace of the savior of the world.  The littleness of Bethlehem contrasts the greatness of the king who would be born there. There are five reasons why I believe Bethlehem was chosen as the birthplace of the Messiah.

Reason #1. The name, Bethlehem
Bethlehem means “the house of bread”. Its fields were populated with rich flocks, its lush valleys clothed with wheat and barley, along with its famous vineyards making Bethlehem’s wine more choice than Jerusalem’s.  The fullness of time and the hunger of the world would need a king who was to be for all men the bread of life.

Reason #2. The grave of Rachael
Here Rachael died giving birth to Benjamin. Jacob set up a pillar upon her grave, the cry of Rachael echoes down the sorrows of Israel. As Babylon exile approached the prophet Jeremiah saw the long road of captives being led northward from Jerusalem past Rachael’s grave. Mothers wept as they watched their children carried into exile, never to be seen again. In picturing the mourning of the mothers of Bethlehem at Herod’s slaughter of the innocent, it is as though in Bethlehem all the sadness of mankind’s predicament had found expression–personal bereavement, delayed hope, bitter disappointment, moral conflict, deserved chastisement, national failure, inhuman cruelty, all are gathered up in years of tears and travail, that heralded the coming of Christ–there in Bethlehem, all “who not be comforted” find at last the consolation of Israel and of the world.

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