December 19 - Becoming the Star

Brandon Patterson, M.Div student at McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University

When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
— Matthew 2: 9-11

             I am incurably convinced that all of creation longs for its creator.  I believe that the rocks, flowers, stars, and every bit of creation longs for Jesus, and often I like to go into nature and rediscover this truth for myself.  For example, during the season of spring, I often sit outside in front of a field of flowers and ask them, “Why do you dance when the wind blows?”  And I almost hear them say, “We dance in the wind, because we feel our creator through every breeze and cannot help but dance for joy.” 

              If I had the pleasure of being there on the day Jesus was born, I would have certainly sat under the night sky, looked up to the Star of Bethlehem, and asked her, “Why do you shine so bright tonight?”  And I bet she would have told me, “My entire life I have waiting to see my creator.  Tonight, I am going to use all of my energy to brighten up my Savior’s face so that I might catch a glimpse of Him.”

              Maybe the most forgotten character of Jesus’ birth is the Northern Star.  Far too often we think she is just an extra that God cast in this scene for decoration, but in fact, she is one of the main characters.  Without the Star of Bethlehem, Jesus’ face would have been hidden from the world on that sacred night.  The star’s illumination led the magi to Jesus which in turn filled the magi with joy and allowed them to worship the creator of the universe.  How different would the birth narrative be if the Star of Bethlehem did not love her creator?

              My prayer during Advent is that we might be more like the Star of Bethlehem.  My prayer is that we become so in love with Jesus that we spend all of our energy just trying to get a glimpse of Him, because once we do that, something amazing happens.  When we seek Jesus with all of our heart, mind and soul, we begin to shine so bright that our light can be picked out among all the stars in the galaxy.  And when our light is seen, people are drawn to Jesus, and then people are able to worship the one whom their souls long for.

              Let us be the light that leads people to Jesus, because it is in Jesus that people are filled with inexplicable joy.  And it is only in worshiping the creator of the universe that people’s souls might be complete.

About Brandon

"My name is Brandon Malloy Patterson (I am extremely proud of my unusual middle name), and I grew up in Nashville, TN.  I spent my college years playing soccer at King University.  Today, I reside in Atlanta, GA where I am getting my Master's of Divinity at McAfee School of Theology.

Since I have been a child, I have been obsessed with God.  As a child, I use to pull up a chair next to my bed, and I would put my hand in the chair so that God could hold my hand at night.  Today, I still have a chair next to bed, and I have one desire.  My one desire is to show people the God whom my soul has always longed to be with."

About McAfee School of Theology

Located in Atlanta, GA, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University forms Christian leaders whose practice and scholarship change lives and transform communities. Mcafee offers a number of innovative courses and experiences focused on social justice and transformation, and offers courses both online and at their Atlanta campus.

McAfee is recognized as part of the Seminaries that Change the World: Class of 2016-17. To learn more about McAfee and its programs, visit their website at, or view their Seminaries that Change the World profile.