Tonight, December 21, is the winter solstice, regarded in many traditions as the darkest and longest night of the year. How fitting that astronomers and scientists are predicting tonight’s appearance of a “Christmas star,” formed by the great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, a rare event not seen in nearly 400 years.

While we don’t need to ascribe any special meaning to the actual phenomenon, tonight’s Christmas star will undoubtedly draw our minds and hearts to the original star that appeared in the heavens to mark the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. For the shepherds in Judea, for the Wise Men, and for the believers in the New World, the star brought more than mere physical light—it brought hope.

My dear friends, as we near the end of a challenging year, one that may feel to many as a time of uncertainty and darkness, let us never forget that the light of hope still shines brightly. Jesus Christ is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. As we turn our hearts to Him, He will pour out His love for us in unmeasured ways. I wish you all a very merry and hope-filled Christmas season. #LightTheWorld