Over Christmas, we were pleased in the UK to see a naturalistic Christmas TV drama relating to the birth of Jesus. It suggested that the bright star of the Nativity story was the famous, very rare triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn shining as one in the night sky, which happened three times during the course of 6BC in the sign of Pisces (which was the symbol of the Jews).
For centuries, this conjunction of the gas giants has been taken to symbolize a watershed in history. Astrologers considered that the zodiac sign Pisces denoted the Jews, Jupiter denoted "a king" and Saturn a "new age" so it is quite easy to see that this conjunction could have have suggested something extraordinary i.e. the birth of Messiah, to the Magi, who were Persian astrologers, or "wise men". Conveniently, 6BC is also before the death of King Herod in 4BC. See the dates of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions at:
See the last para about the very rare triple conjunction in 6BC.
Oddly, over Christmas, there was also an astrophysics programme shown about the "Late Heavy Bombardment" which is thought to have caused the craters on the moon and heralded a more advanced, life filled, watery Earth. I can relate that the most accepted theory of this Late Heavy Bombardment (by asteroids) is that the gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn, moving their orbits outwards from the Sun fell into a cycle of particular conjunction, together causing a joint massive gravitational pull, which drew asteroids into the solar system. It was suggested that the outcome of these effects was that life on Earth moved ever "onwards and upwards".
Oddly, Jupiter and Saturn moving as one, figure in both these narratives or theories. Much as science would like to proclaim itself as "truth", it has its fictional/fanciful side too, and possibly these are just simply stories. But perhaps Saturn and Jupiter together are the "gears" of the solar system? And if so, God who made them, might use them as physical and spiritual gears too, the joint initiators of new ages.
For human history is measured in "before Christ" and "after Christ" and in effect, his coming was indeed an "on and upwards" in the history of the world, from pagan darkness and brutality to a knowledge, at least, of what is right and just and of what pleases God - exactly what is proclaimed at the start of the Gospel of John.
"We have seen his light...his life was the light of the world.....as many as received him, he gave them power to become the children of God."
We are in "the age of the children of God from all nations". Ancient Israel had been the children of God, before Christ, but only in the sense of worshiping him but having to make sacrifices. But following Christ, it is possible to know God "face to face" - for all nations and to call him "Father". It is also the age in which the "veil of death" has been drawn back and overcome. For those who accept Christ's Cross for their sins, are exempt from the Last Day's wrath and have every one of their tears "wiped away". This is the joyous age of "Hope in Him".
The planets came together in another key year, that of "modern Europe" in 1603. Their most recent conjunction was May 2000. The next conjunction is in 2020 (but that is not a triple event). This is not worth getting superstitious about, however. These mighty planets may have fulfilled their God-created function.
The question at this New Year is: "Have you?"