This image from Space.com helps us see where the brightest star in 400 years will appear tonight.

Today is Optimist New Year, because of the winter solstice, the sunlight is gaining and the darkness is retreating. You won’t notice if you watch for more light this week, because the difference is infinitesimal. But this year, the metaphorical difference is huge. We all need more light, joy, and hope.

Religious scholars agree there is no coincidence in the fact that many of the most intense sacred holidays are aligned with the winter solstice. In the context of darkness, we’ve rallied around celebrations of light and joy. It helps drive out the darkness.

Once-in-a-lifetime brightness

This year, we have a real treat: every 400 years or so, the planets Saturn and Jupiter conjoin in the sky to create an amazingly bright star. Seeing this in the sky makes the Christian belief in the Star of Bethlehem seem realistic.

How about we all go searching for the bright light in the sky, and then shine that light in our lives as we turn the calendar to 2021.