Monday, September 24, 2012

It's September, So Let's Talk about Christmas, the Star, and the Magi

The Nativity of Christ with the Star of Bethlehem depicted top center.

In the Orthodox Church, the Star of Bethlehem is not interpreted as an astronomical event, but rather as a supernatural occurrence, whereby an angel was sent by God to lead the Magi to the Christ Child. This is illustrated in the Troparion of the Nativity:
Apolytikion: (Fourth Tone)
Your birth, O Christ our God,
dawned the light of knowledge upon the earth.
For by Your birth those who adored stars (i.e. Magi)
were taught by a star
to worship You, the Sun of Justice,
and to know You, Orient from on High.
O Lord, glory to You.[1]
In Orthodox icons, the Star of Bethlehem is often depicted not as golden, but as a dark aureola, a semicircle at the top of the icon, indicating the Uncreated Light of Divine grace, with a ray pointing to "the place where the young child lay" (Matt 2:9). Sometimes the faint image of an angel is drawn inside the aureola.

-from OrthodoxWiki - Magi

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