Comet Lifts Eyes to Skies in Post-Christmas Wonder
We don’t wonder enough. Our tiny planet hurtles through space at a tearing 67,000 miles an hour, spinning on its axis 365.25 times every year, without fail. We orbit a colossal ball of fire, 1,300,000 times larger than earth, 93,000,000 miles away. The night sky bursts with stars, showering us with brilliance. Truly “the heavens declare the glory of God the skies proclaim the works of his hands…” Wonder.
Collin Nicholl wondered. His 2015 book The Christ Comet is a scientific exploration into the nature of the Star described in the Gospel of Matthew was. This star was different. It was important. It prompted prominent pagan scholars to leave everything and follow its calling. It actually appeared to have behavior. It is this star, and the events surrounding its rising, that inspired Nicholl to write a truly meticulous treatise on the Star of Bethlehem, attacking the narrative from every angle.
Nicholl’s research is impressive and well documented. He tenuously describes every logical possibility, piecing together the intricate fields of History, Astronomy, Physics and Astrology. He delves into the nature of stars and comets. Pages are filled with mathematical formulas and astronomical theorems. He explores Babylonian mythology, and deep Jewish cultural tradition. Nicholl convincingly builds an arguments to outline outside opinions, only to then crushingly refute them, logically making his point clear. Although at times overwhelming, his narrative is beyond compelling.
I believe that, if for no other reason, Nicoll’s treatise is valuable because it reminds us of one of the many ways God speaks. God has given us His divine Scripture, by which he communicates with us, but he has also made himself known through creation. The story of the Magi is a beautiful testament to God’s revealing himself and his promise to the Gentiles. All they had to do was wonder.
There is always more to be learned about God. He is everlasting and ever-reaching. He seeks to know us, revealing innumerable qualities of Himself in the creation all around us. He has given us eyes to see, and minds to process. What a gift, the world to see, a God to discover, and all we have to do is wonder.