If you are familiar with the story of the birth of Christ as told in the gospel of Matthew, Chapter 2, there were wise men (possibly royal astronomers or advisors to kings) whose occupation was studying the stars. When this particular star filled the sky (my interpretation) it sent these men on a mission to find "the one who has been born king of the Jews. We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."
What was so different about this star these wise men would saddle up their camels and head on a journey that would take approximately two years and countless miles as they followed its leading? Since everyone at the time was awaiting the King of the Jews to arrive and alleviate all the pain and suffering being poured on them by the Romans, I'm sure these gentlemen assumed if anyone knew a King had been born it would be the present King, Herod the Great!
But Herod, wanting to erase anyone or anything that threatened his position on the throne, called in his own chief priests and teachers of the law to find out if there was any truth to the inquiry and the location of this threat to his reign. Prophecy in the Old Testament scriptures held the answer as the King's counsel replied, "But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel."
The King, so disturbed by their words, called the wise men back to his throne room and told them to go and find the babe and then report back to him so he could worship him as well. Sounds like a television program we view often, doesn't it? Not one line of truth did the King speak. But the wise men continued on their way and finally found the child (Jesus was now about two years of age) and they worshipped him by bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. How significant were those three offerings. In fact, it is thought there were three wise men because of the three gifts.
Gold - signifying royalty - the Son of our Almighty God; Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords
Frankincense - this brought to mind the Altar of Incense in the Holy Place where they priests would burn incense for the sins of the people that it might be a pleasing fragrance, acceptable to God for the forgiveness of sins. And didn't God's Son, Jesus become that fragrant offering, the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world? The only one who could be our Redeemer?
Myrrh - a spice used for embalming...given to the babe as a foreshadowing of why he came to earth.
Scripture explains that the wise men were told in a dream to return another way and not to go back to Herod with the baby's location. Shortly after that encounter with the wise men, Joseph took Mary and Jesus and fled to Egypt having also been warned in a dream that Herod wanted to kill the child.
So, the question remains, why follow the star? In today's world, why follow the Star of Bethlehem? What significance does that event thousands of years ago have for you? Does it have a significance for you and your family? Have you faithfully told the story to those in your family?
Jesus came so that we might have life and we might have life more abundantly. Our journey here on earth is temporary, but where we are headed when our last breath is taken is for all eternity. Why do we follow the Star? Because it's the Light of the World and He lives within your soul.