As the world prepares to celebrate the joyous occasion of Christmas, it is important to recognize the rich cultural and spiritual traditions that encompass this holiday season. At St. Joseph’s Indian School, we embrace the diversity of our students’ Native American heritage and find meaningful connections between their customs and the story of Christ’s birth. In this story, we explore the interesting parallels between the Morning Star in Native American culture and the Star of Bethlehem in the Christmas Story.
The Morning Star
In Native American cultures, the Morning Star holds great significance as a symbol of hope, guidance and divine presence. Known by different names in various tribes, such as the “Day Star”, it is believed to appear just before dawn, signaling the end of darkness and the beginning of a new day. Some Native Americans often turn to the Morning Star for inspiration and strength — seeking its blessing as they go about their days.
The Star of Bethlehem
The Star of Bethlehem, central to the story of Christ’s birth, is mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew. Wise men from the East saw a star rising and interpreted it as a sign of the birth of a great King. Filled with faith and awe, they followed the star’s guidance across vast distances to find the newborn King. The Star of Bethlehem led them to the Messiah, inspiring hope and guiding their journey.
Connecting the Dots
While both the Morning Star and the Star of Bethlehem hold distinct cultural and religious significance, it is interesting to draw parallels between the two. Both stars function as celestial guides, leading individuals towards light and bringing hope to those who seek it. They symbolize the promise of a new beginning, filled with divine blessings.
Just as Native Americans may look to the Morning Star for strength and protection, the Wise Men relied on the Star of Bethlehem to embark on their transformative journey. It is the shared belief in the stars’ guiding presence that unites and uplifts both these narratives.
Celebrating Christmas in Harmony
At St. Joseph’s Indian School, we honor our students’ Native American heritage and welcome the Christmas season with open hearts. By harmonizing the stories surrounding the Morning Star and the Star of Bethlehem, we weave together a picture that celebrates diversity and fosters a deeper understanding of the spiritual connections that bind us together.
“We are always trying to show our students connections between these two beautiful cultures,” said Joe, Director of Mission Integration at St. Joseph’s. “This is just another example of how both the Morning Star and the Star of Bethlehem help our students reach another level of their personal relationship with The Creator.”
This Christmas, let us embrace the intersection of Native American traditions and the Christian faith as we celebrate the birth of Christ. Just as the Wise Men followed the guiding light of the Star of Bethlehem, may we too find inspiration and hope in the Morning Star, enabling us to navigate life’s daily journeys with courage, faith and love.
From all of us at St. Joseph’s Indian School, we wish you a blessed Christmas filled with unity, joy and abundant blessings.
Learn more about St. Joseph’s Indian School at stjo.org today!