Sailor’s Creek event explores the Star of Bethlehem

Published 1:34 am Monday, November 27, 2023

Coming up this weekend, Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park will take a unique look at a part of the Biblical Christmas story. In the story, a star is referenced. Commonly called the Christmas star or the Star of Bethlehem, in the Book of Matthew it helps the Magi find their way to the location of the Christ child. 

But what did the star look like? And what did the night sky in Bethlehem as a whole look like during that time? These questions and others will be discussed this coming weekend. As part of the park’s Christmas programming, Sailor’s Creek will hold a unique event on Saturday, Dec. 2. 

Kim Kenny from the Crewe Observatory will be on hand from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Using the Bible, computers and cutting-edge astronomy software, residents will be able to experience in two hours what the Wise Men saw and the signs in the sky referenced in Jesus’ life from his birth to his crucifixion. For example, in the Biblical book of Matthew, Chapter 2, verse 9 says “When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.”

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Where would that have been in the night sky? What would it have looked like? This family-friendly, indoor presentation is free to the public and will include a question-and-answer session immediately following its conclusion. For more information, residents can contact the Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park visitor center at 804-561-7510, or email sailorscreek@dcr.virginia.gov.

More about Sailor’s Creek 

For those not familiar with the park, the purpose of Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park is to preserve the cultural landscape as it was in 1865, and to provide the historic setting to tell the story of the last major battle of the Civil War in Virginia before the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s Army at Appomattox Court House, and its impact on the citizens of Southside Virginia.