People familiar with American military custom know that a star has long been used as a symbol to represent a loved one. During World War I, it became common practice for any family who had a family member in service to display a service flag that featured a blue star. Multiple members in service called for multiple blue stars.
Furthermore, if the family member was killed in action, the flag’s blue star was replaced by a gold star. Over time, two types of service flags came to be used. One had a white background, a red border, and a blue star. The other had a white background, a blue border, and a gold star.
In 1918, the Women’s Committee of National Defenses made a recommendation to President Woodrow Wilson that any mother who had lost a child in service should wear an armband that featured a gold star. Wilson officially approved the recommendation, and this created the idea of a “Gold Star Mother.” Ten years later, in 1928, the national organization called American Gold Star Mothers Inc. was created, an organization that still exists today.
During World War II, star flags (either the blue-star version or the gold-star one) were prominently displayed in windows throughout America. Everyone knew what the flags meant. Unfortunately, that meaning was substantially lost during the Vietnam War because the unpopularity of that war caused many families to forego displaying service flags. Thus, the practice faded out of the public eye until it began making a bit of a comeback during America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite the comeback, though, the majority of American people today still don’t know the history and meaning behind service flags placed in windows.
Some 2,000 years ago God placed a star in the sky. Why did He do that? He did it so that the star could point the wise men to Jesus Christ. If we use a little sanctified imagination, though, can’t we also take that star to be God’s way of showing the world that He now had a son in active military service? Jesus had left heaven and come down to the earth to go to war against Satan. He would battle Satan personally in the Judean wilderness as Satan would tempt Him. He would battle Satan’s demons directly in every case of demon possession He would encounter. He would battle Satan’s henchmen in the form of the Jewish scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees who would compel the Romans to render the verdict of crucifixion.
Because of that crucifixion, we are right to say that the war between Jesus and Satan cost Jesus His life. God the Father’s blue star became a gold one. But that wasn’t the end of the story. In an ultimate display of the fact that in actuality Jesus had won the war, He arose from the dead. Then, a little over a month later, He ascended back to heaven and took His seat at the right hand of God the Father. That is where He currently resides this Christmas season. You see, God the Father’s Son has returned home from the war. He has been reclaimed from death. And He now offers salvation to one and all who will believe in Him as Savior.