The Star

The star hung silently, brightly in the heavens, and wondered at the world below.

The earth breathed silently, wrapped in the cool shroud of night.

Yet the star wondered at the swell of anticipation that gently throbbed beneath the dusky layers, and tickled the night wind, and shook the silvery dust from his glimmering companions.

The hills and valleys slept beneath their coarse, wheaten blanket, sheep and goats scattered across the rolling landscape like flecks of white paint. The shepherds crouched around a crackling fire, talking and singing and occasionally glancing up to meet the star’s gaze.

For they, too, felt it.

flower

Then all at once, as though an unseen conductor had raised his baton, the men fell silent. The star followed their eyes to a far off point, higher in the heavens than himself, to see another tiny star falling out of the sky. As they watched, the star grew bigger and brighter and closer and even closer, until the men began to cry out in fear and clutch their tattered cloaks for protection.

With a silent boom of brilliance, the new star burst into the atmosphere, its sheer force of presence rippling the air like a shock wave and flinging the terrified men to the ground.

The hovering star was afraid. He knew, before the shepherds looked again, that this was no ordinary star like himself. He trembled in awe, star shine tinkling from his shaking frame, and his light seemed dim and grey in the presence of that luminous being, that shining glory, that ornament of Heaven’s throne.

Then the angel spoke, and his sound thundered in the silent night and fell gently on the shepherd’s frozen forms.

“Do not be afraid.” His voice commanded and caressed. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all the people!”

Slowly, men and star took in the unexpected angel of light. Breathlessly, they listened as he spoke.

His words echoed across the ragged little valley; words so powerful that the grass and the trees bowed in reverence, and the beasts of the field turned to listen; words so bright that the star found himself warmly and inexplicably glowing in reflection.

“Today, a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.”

The proclamation fell amongst the awe-struck men with the impact of a beating drum, thudding its meaning in their hearts. Gone was the terror of moments ago to be replaced with incredulous excitement. They carefully glanced at one another’s shining faces, shook the dreamlike cobwebs from their fuzzy minds, and knew – they were hearing a message flowing from the throne of God directly to the threshold of the world.

flower

An explosion of brilliance sent the shepherds to their knees once again, their necks craning in disbelief as the whole sky lit up with the flaming presence of thousands of angels.

Celestial wings sent the North wind scampering in submission. Their glowing laughter skipped amongst the sleeping flowers and bubbled in the stream and echoed through the yawning olive groves. Their song filled the air with such ethereal beauty that it seemed the earth’s very globe would burst with pure joy.

The star wondered at the uncontained delight rippling amongst the men as they hurried to the cosy, sleeping town. He wondered at the angel’s declaration, heavy with inexpressible joy, yet hinting at future sorrow and glory – both terrifying and triumphant at the same time. He wondered at the rapidly vanishing beings of light, and at the velvet backdrop of night that suddenly felt so empty.

He wondered at a single, shining tear that a departing angel silently brushed away.

flower

When the star looked down again, he found a young mother bathed in his gentle light. Curled up in the entrance of a rough, wooden abode, she cradled a child to her breast and peacefully hummed a tune of love, a harmony to the angels’ shimmering melody. A young man sat beside her, his arm around her waist, her head tucked into his strong shoulder.

The darkness reverently held its shadows back from the babe; the night wind whispered to the watching cattle that grazed inside the little barn.

The mother held her son close and softly kissed a tiny hand. She did not look up to see her wonder reflected in the silver face of the star above her.

flower

The star hung silently, brightly in the heavens, and wondered at the world below.

The earth breathed silently, wrapped in the cool shroud of night.

The star basked in the wonder of anticipation that gently throbbed beneath the dusky layers, and tickled the night wind, and shook the silvery dust from his glimmering companions.

And, as the galaxy drifted on, the night tinted its cloak with grey. The first sparks of light peeked over the horizon, the mighty sun began to rise, and the wondering star quietly slipped beneath the golden sheen of dawn.

 

The Star © Emma McGeorge, 24 December 2012

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2 thoughts on “The Star

  1. […] you know God’s presence and wonder this Christmas – you may have seen this before, but here is a Christmas story for you. Lest we lose the wonder… It’s been an exhausting week, […]

  2. kathy says:

    Beautiful words as always Emma.Hope your Christmas was beautiful too. Look forward to seeing you in January.

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