I read a story found in “Advent, Christmas, And Epiphany: Stories and Reflections on the Sunday Readings” by Megan McKenna. I would like to share it with you:
“Once upon a time there was a gathering of stars, a shining convergence of light. They came together to boast of their service to humanity and what they had done in obedience to God’s command to shine forth and bring light into the heavens. They knew that their glory lay in obeying God and in serving those God had put upon the earth. They did not gather very often, but when they did it was a sight to behold.
One star spoke amid the music of their coming together. “I am the pole star,” she sang out. “If it were not for me, humans would be lost. They would have no sense of direction, no feel for distances. Their journeys would be nightmares that never ended. Because of me they know where they are on earth and so can go from one place to the next. They are not always lost.
Another star spoke and said, “Well, I do not have a name, but what I have done is spectacular, for I am the star that proved Einstein’s theory of relativity to be correct. Yes, that was me. I darted behind the sun at just the right moment during an eclipse and forever changed the shape of earth’s science.
The others beamed and glowed in recognition. Others spoke up and cited their contributions to science, to art, to music, to the beauty of earth’s dome. The music and sound spilled over and over and wove in and out of the light. Then, everyone heard a small cough and stopped for a moment. It was the Sun, who politely but firmly pointed out that it, too, was a star, probably the most potent and necessary for the service it rendered daily to the creatures and dwellers on the earth. The stars all deferred to the Sun’s obvious power.
Then someone noticed one star who had not said a thing. It was quiet and remote, and it looked like it was trying not to be noticed or seen. It was singled out and asked what it had done for humankind. It was silent for a moment and then confessed honestly that it had not done a thing. In fact, it had not even been discovered; its existence was totally unknown.
After a moment of silence, some of the stars exploded with laughter and derision, commenting, “Of what use is a star if it is not even known to exist?” After all they were told to be lights in the firmament and to shine forth to the glory of God and to encourage humankind.
The star listened and pondered these things, wondering how to reply. Then it had a flash of insight. It smiled and spoke up in its defense: “Wait, maybe I have done something for human beings after all. It is true, as I said, that they do not know me. But they are not fools. They study the heavens and plot the trajectories of the planets and other clusters of stars, bits of dust, meteorites, and black holes, even quasars and quarks, and they know that something is missing. They have noticed deviations in orbits and gravitational attractions, and they know that there is something else out there that will explain what they can see.
“So, my contribution is really very crucial, for I keep them awake. I remind them of mystery, of the unknown, and what has yet to be discovered. In fact, I think my being so hidden lures them further into the skies and to the awe and grandeur of God who is maker and keeper of all things in the heavens and on the earth. I am glad that you challenged me on my existence and presence in the heavens, for now I know they have much yet to discover and that there is so much mystery out there. Perhaps they will remember that the heavens reflect much below and that the mystery within them is just as deep and far flung among themselves.”
The stars were silent as they listened. All returned to their places in the sky, humbler and more in awe of God’s hidden plans and secrets. For now even they wondered what they did not yet know about themselves and about the Creator who is light itself.
Friends in Christ, remember that Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Creator in heaven.” And yet, he also said, “There is much more I need to say to you, but you cannot bear it at this time.” This Christmas season, let your light shine for all to see; and ponder with awe and wonder God’s gifts, known and yet to be discovered, within you and this faith community…gifts to be shared with all of creation…in Christ’s name for Christ’s sake. Now and forever.
Have a Merry Christmas!
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve