And the Star Shone Brighter: A Christmas Eve Story

It was late at night, and it was dark as could be in little Bethlehem.  They didn’t have any street lights, and there were no cars, with their headlights, to show the way. 

The only light came from the moon and the stars.

The-Christmas-StarOn that night long ago, there was a very special star shining.  It came to shine its light on a little stable.  Inside the stable there was a cow, eating straw from the manger.  In a coop there were chickens, clucking and searching for the last bits of feed on the dirt floor.  Up above in the rafters lived a pair of doves, billing and cooing in their cozy nest.  It was cold outside, but inside among the animals it was comfortably warm.

They were just getting sleepy when their master came to the door.  Behind him were a man and a woman and a little donkey.  “Do you think you can make her comfortable here?” he asked the man.

Soon the man and the woman settled on a bed of clean straw, and the little donkey ate some hay.

Then amazing things began to happen.

The woman gave birth to a little baby, and the star shone brighter. The man wrapped the little baby in a blanket and gave him back to his mother, and the star shone brighter.

The chickens stopped their gathering and settled on their nests.  The cow lowed peacefully, and her warm breath brought more heat to the midnight stable.  The doves cooed a lullaby for the new baby.

And the star shone brighter.

The little donkey curled up close to the manger, where the mother laid her baby, and his body gave warmth, too.

And the star shone brighter.

They all heard a sound of people approaching and looked to the door to see a group of shepherds, grown men and young boys, crowding around, some carrying lambs.

“We came to see the one who will save us, the baby born tonight.  We came because the star is shining here!” they said.

And the star shone brighter.

The shepherds knelt down to gaze at the baby, and the little lambs toddled to the manger.  An old shepherd with a rough, lined face smiled at the same time tears rolled down his cheeks.

And the star shone brighter.

The-christmas-star-smallLater three tall men in beautiful robes came to see the baby.  They had traveled a long way, riding on their camels.  “We come to seek the newborn King,” they said, “and we have followed his star to this place.”  They knelt before the manger, and gave the little baby precious gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh.

And the star shone brighter.

The animals wondered why all the people came.  They wondered why all the people were talking about a king.  All they could see was a little baby.

The baby was Jesus, and he was God’s son.  He didn’t come flying down to Earth like a superhero.  He came just the way we all do—as a little baby.  He was God’s child, and so are you, and you, and you, and so are all of us.  He came to be born in a humble stable, a place that wasn’t fancy or important—a place where the animals lived.

The shepherds who came to see him were poor and rough, and the Wise Ones were rich and fancy.  It didn’t matter that the people gathered at the manger were different.  All that mattered was that they knew Jesus was special.

Vicky-brago-mitchell-christmas-starTonight we gather at the manger for the same reason: we know that Jesus is special, and we know that it doesn’t matter to Jesus how different we are.  He loves us all: rich or poor, tall or short, dark skinned or fair skinned, old or young, happy or sad.  Whoever you are, wherever you live, you are one of God’s people.  And when we say that Jesus came to save us, we are saying that he came to show us how much we are loved by God.  Everyone, everywhere, is invited to gather at the manger. 

And when we do, the star shines brighter.


(If this might be useful for a service, I'm happy to share it. Just email me!)

12 thoughts on “And the Star Shone Brighter: A Christmas Eve Story”

  1. If it weren’t for teh fact that the bulletin is already printed I would have substituted this in for one of the other stories I am using on Thursday. Maybe next year…

  2. Martha, I keep a folder named ‘the best of Songbird’. I don’t plan to use it in any way right now, but will certainly check with you if I want to. I just read them over. You are a gifted teacher and I always learn so much from you. Thank you for that.

  3. Our chickens approve this message. They would like to remind me that they, too, could use a brighter light in the barn’s midwinter darkness. The cows approve too, although Iona is quick to point out that she prefers hay to straw–much tastier, thank you. Our cat, (who is neither a Good Jew nor a Good Christian), approves of the doves, especially if they would consent to perching just a little…bit…closer.
    Zoe the Farm Dog especially likes this story. She would like to know if the coming of the Three Special People into the barn means more creatures for her to herd. She thinks that baby might someday need lessons on herd management, too, and she has offered to teach him.

  4. Wonderful story!! I really Love that story..
    I love it..Baby Jesus and the Three kings.. =D

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