The Star is an enchanting animated Christmas movie. The birth of a child, who is Christ the King, is told through a whole new set of eyes. Bo the donkey, Ruth a lovable sheep, and Dave an aspiring dove easily capture imaginations of any age. Even in Renaissance art, stable animals are stars as well as the baby in the manger. They always reflect wonder, curiosity and adoration in their big eyes as the “star’s” light beams down on the newborn.
On our trip to Washington over Thanksgiving, we stopped at the magical travel center in St. Regis. Free hot popcorn beckoned us into the gift shop. This roadside Inn, decorated in gold and white, glows with all the wonder of the holiday season. Tucked in a display are several crèches carved out of wood—the characters are all wild critters! There is the moose crèche and then the black bear crèche. Adorable! Just as I am tempted, the Spirit gently reminds me neither will fit in my crèche collection. Why? The real ‘star’ is missing. “Adorable” does not tell the full story. Animals are props and a moose baby and a bear Mary are not the INCARNATION. There has to be a human baby in the feeding trough-born of his mother Mary! The Sony movie gets that part right—a real human baby is wrapped in bands of cloth and laid in a manger. Are you and I and the church keeping the whole story in our minds and hearts? The Evangelist Luke reports the angel Gabriel said to Mary “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy: he will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35).”
Composer John Rutter in Candlelight Carol hints at much more to come. Find him at Bethlehem laid in a manger: Christ our Redeemer asleep in the hay. Godhead incarnate and hope of salvation. A child with his mother that first Christmas Day.
At 5:00 pm on Christmas Eve a small child will follow the cross and place Jesus in the manger. I invite you and those in your lives to come and hear the full story of Christmas’ real star-Jesus our Lord and Savior.
In the love that Christmas gives our hearts, Louise+