Christmastide

We're in the midst of Christmastide. Christmastide is what we can call the period of time from Christmas Eve to the 5th of January. Some know it as the Twelve Days of Christmas or Yuletide.
My boys walking to the "star of Bethlehem, PA"
During this week the studio is relatively quiet. Activity that fills me instead tends to be eating an unusual amount of cookies, savoring the Christmas cards that have come in the mail from friends far away, and keeping the coffee pot filled for unexpected visitors. My family also takes a few days to travel to to see my husband's family in Bethlehem ....Bethlehem, Pennsylvania that is! As we approach Bethlehem, PA we see a star hovering above the mountainside (I kid you not!). Even though this star is a man made out of steel and lightbulbs I always marvel at how far away we can see it as we drive into town and wonder if this feeling of amazement is what it was like for the magi.
Of course we don't really know what it was like that first Christmas therefore we've been artistically interpreting it for many years. Here is a unique painting called The Star of Bethlehem by Sir Edward Burne-Jones depicting the Adoration of the Magi  with an angel holding the star of Bethlehem. 
This painting is the largest watercolor of the 19th century and was created as a design for a William Morris tapestry. There are many theories about the star that led the magi. Regardless of what you believe the star is or was on that first Christmas it is a sign of God's presence in the miraculous and mysterious story of Christ's birth. As Matthew told us in 2:9, And there, ahead of them, went the star...it stopped over the place where the child was.
May the Love of Christ
shine brightly on you during Christmastide 
and throughout the New Year