With the various festivals and remembrances shared in the scriptures, we serve a God who delights in His people stopping their work, gathering together as families, and celebrating His presence and faithfulness. How delightful to find our great God giving us an evening treat on the first night of winter: A Christmas Star.
The planets of Saturn and Jupiter will be so close as to shine a bright light in the southwest sky which can be seen without a telescope. The light will be beautifully radiant on each clear night the entire fourth week of December! Anytime we can encourage our families to lift their eyes up to the Lord let’s join them with vocabulary and tools to be amazed at God’s creativity and wonder.
The following information and a generous supply of OREOS (dark/light) will make this a wonderful opportunity for families to engage in some fun at home with some shared conversation about our GREAT GOD and His son, JESUS, the light of the world who shines in the darkness.
For people in the Northern Hemisphere (in the United States of America), winter is a season of cold, dark days. The WINTER SOLSTICE is the shortest day of the year and marks the exact day when our half of the Earth is tilted the farthest away from the sun.
Our GREAT GOD, who created the sun and placed it in the sky at the beginning of time, planned for this day to be the day of the year with the shortest daytime (light) and the longest nighttime (darkness). Every daylight after the WINTER SOLSTICE will be a little longer, until we reach the day with the most hours of daylight in the summer.
On Monday, December 21, 2020, the WINTER SOLSTICE marks the first day of winter. This day will have the shortest daytime (lightness) and the longest nighttime (darkness). Our GREAT GOD is also giving us a CHRISTMAS STAR to see!
The planets Jupiter and Saturn will align so closely in the night sky that they’ll almost appear to collide creating a radiant point of light often referred to as the CHRISTMAS STAR. The last time these planets came this close to deliver such a radiant light was 794 years ago!
On the WINTER SOLSTICE, look for the CHRISTMAS STAR about 45 minutes after sunset in the southwest sky. The planets will be at their closest on WINTER SOLSTICE of 2020 and will be visible from anywhere on Earth for about one hour after sunset for the entire fourth week of December! If you’re viewing with a telescope, you may also be able to see Jupiter and Saturn’s largest moons orbiting them that week.
Our GREAT GOD is amazing!
With the LIGHT & DARK of the WINTER SOLSTICE, here are some family fun ideas to celebrate OUR GREAT GOD and his gift of light in the darkness: His son JESUS!
Cookie Stacking – Who can get the highest stack in one minute?
Cookie on a Fork Relay – Put a cookie on a fork and race to the finish line; run around the kitchen twice; walk up and down the staircase without the cookie falling off. No touching the cookie with your hands unless you are frozen and resetting.
Cookie Face – Move a cookie from your forehead to your mouth with only your facial muscles. No touching with your hands!
Cookie Center Gone – Who is the fastest person to lick the crème center out of the cookie? No teeth, 100% licking only!
“When JESUS spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the LIGHT of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the LIGHT of life.” John 8:12