Ponderings: “Morning Star, on my front porch…”*

On many Moravian (and non-Moravian) front porches and foyers this time of year, Advent Stars—or what we call “Moravian Stars”—are on display. While they make lovely decorations, they also remind us that the joy of Christmas is coming.

The Advent after I joined the IBOC, our family received a white Herrnhuter star as a gift. The many-pointed star, made in Germany, was wired to be displayed outside. We hung it on our front porch for all to see. Coming home in the evening and seeing it brightening the front of the house helped get me in the Christmas spirit.

When January rolled around and I took down our decorations, I stashed the star away with our other lights and trimmings. We went back to our regular old porch light, looking like every other house on the street. When Advent arrived, the star went back up, only to return to the attic after Epiphany.

The following year, however, I didn’t get around to pulling any of our decorative lights down until March. All through the winter, our front-porch Moravian star blazed on. It was then that I thought, “Why not leave it up all year ‘round.” That procrastination in removing our Christmas decorations had a wonderful effect: it made me realize just how welcoming that star can be.

Since then, our Moravian star has brightened our neighborhood. We replaced the standard bulb with an LED lamp that’s even brighter and won’t need changing for years. It stays on all night, every night.

I’ve also noticed that there are many others who leave that star up all year and I’m glad that they do. Seeing this symbol of our church and our beliefs glowing in, say, the middle of July, offers a gentle reminder that God’s love shines brightly everywhere, and that his only son is always with us.

And, of course, its fun to tell visitors coming to our home for the first time that once they get to our street, all they need to do is follow the star! Here’s wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.


Mike Riess, Editor

* I tried to write a new verse to Morning Star, O Cheering Sight. It went something like “Advent Star, on my front porch/light my front yard like a torch…” Then I stopped, realizing I shouldn’t mess with this beloved hymn. See the real thing on page 7.