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Chosen to Shine The annual Christmas zine for kidzpack by Dorothy Willis

I just love my job. During the day I loll about and sleep but when night time comes and it begins to get dark that's when I wake up and go to work.

You have no idea what it is like to take your place in the great galaxy high above the earth and simply do your job, turn on your light and shine. Blink and twinkle a bit to create interest for anyone who happens to be looking up. The best part of my job is looking down. My view might just be what God's view of earth is like. Maybe.

All we stars certainly have a spot in the sky to shine from. This saves any arguments, and of course makes sure we do not bump into each other. But there is one day I will never forget. I got called to the Boss's office. What had I done wrong I worried? Did I let my light go out too early? I needn't have worried - it was because I was doing a good job. "How much more brightly can you shine?" I was asked. "Heaps more" I replied, "If I had to."

"Your position in the sky is perfectly placed for a special task. We want you to be the brightest star in the sky.

You will also have permission to move but be careful of other stars. You are to be both a sign and a guide. This is a God given task. So remember - this is a special blessing and you are working directly for God, the maker of both heaven and earth. Your light must not grow dim until the task is done."

Now let me take a moment to tell you what makes a star shine. It is a powerhouse of energy. I am made up of plasma and gravity. I am forever moving to my centre core.

My middle is so very hot it makes what is called a nuclear fusion and this in turn makes what is called a gamma ray. So I shine because of a process of plasma, gravity and friction which results in heat and light.

Well, I thought, I'm going to need concentration and energy for this special task. Just matching my energy and light to everyone else is what I do easily. But to outshine everyone for an extended time is something else altogether.

A God given task. I took my time to let what I was hearing sink deeply into my brain. A God given task. I have to outshine everyone. Oh boy. "When do I start?"

"In 48 hours. Go and get that gamma ray ready to burst."

That's how I was chosen to shine. 2 nights later I took my place in the sky and shone so brightly I almost dazzled myself. Looking down I could see everything clearly. The Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Capernaum, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron and right across to Babylon. I knew I was extraordinarily bright because the detail I could see was amazing. If this is God's view, I thought, He can surely see what everyone is up to. It was a wonderful night.

When morning came I put my gamma ray away to get a well earned rest.

What happens next I wondered? Will I be noticed?

The next night I shone my gamma ray around and it seemed I could see even further. Away out east I picked up something to focus on. Some men seemed to be pointing and nodding and looking up at me. They had some papers they were reading so I tried hard to give them a bit more light. They became really excited. Pointing and nodding and smiling and then action. They were running backwards and forwards packing bags and feeding and watering camels in the field.

A crowd of people gathered around and they were all pointing in my direction. Lots of hand shaking went on, then 3 men climbed onto their camels and they headed off, all the time looking up as though they were making sure I was still there.

Maybe this God given show is on the road, I thought. I need to be alert and watch out to see if anyone else seems to notice me. Who else is on the road headed west? Scanning my gamma ray round the towns I had checked out last night I noticed there was a lot of late night activity in the little town of Nazareth. Lanterns were burning very brightly in one shop and the house next door. Focusing carefully I could see a guy packing bags and leaning them up against a wall. Then he headed off to the field and called to his donkey.

Sounded like the donkey was called Noah. Noah was brought over to the building and fed and given water and then bedded down for the night.

It looks like they are going on a journey too. The rest of the night was pretty much just people going about any late night jobs and then heading off to sleep. It's interesting watching the lights go out and the earth go quiet. It's also interesting to see who is up and going before daylight. Before it was time for me to pack up I shone my ray back down to Nazareth.

Sure enough, there was action. The guy with the donkey was up and going. The donkey had packs on his back and the man was helping a lady to climb on board. I'm pretty sure he called her Mary. They are having an early start I thought.

Another night done. I was really ready for a good rest but also wanting the next night to come quickly so I did not miss seeing anything. I was ready to get going almost before the sun went down but knew I could not break the rules about the times when stars were allowed to shine. Had the 3 men and the camels and the man, Mary and Noah found a place to camp for the night or could I find them and see where they were? Casting my light round south of Nazareth I could see what seemed like a lot of people on the move. The roads were quite busy with people finding places to stop for the night.

Just as well the weather is good, I thought. There looks like a record number of people will be camping beneath the stars tonight. Maybe my extra light will be the one that guides them to a safe spot. I was just going to change direction when I picked out the donkey being led by the man with the lady riding.

Hey, that's Noah and Mary, I'm sure. I shone a bit of extra light and they stopped under a tree on a flat piece of ground. The man helped Mary down and set up camp. Mary looked exhausted and Noah had a tired look on his face.

Now it was time to check out the 3 men on the camels. Have they found a safe place for the night? Swinging my ray round eastward there they were. Not camping for the night but packing up ready to travel. They looked at me and pointed, read their papers and got going. Nice to be noticed guys. Thanks. I'll check on you later.

The rest of the night was quiet except for the fact that some of the towns seemed extra busy with people. Bethlehem was really busy with a lot of people gathering to talk and eat and staying up later than usual. Just before morning I swung round to check on the night travellers. There they were getting ready to feed, water and rest the camels. Wonder where they are going?

I was worried my gamma ray was not so bright. I need more rest today, I decided. Got to switch off and spell or my light may not be bright enough. All the familiar things could be seen round the towns and countryside the next night. I almost bumped into another star when changing the direction of my gamma ray to look for Noah, Mary and the man. There they were in Bethlehem.

They were easy to spot. It looked like they were having trouble finding somewhere to stay. The town was so busy and noisy. Lots of people were knocking on doors, searching for a place to stay.

Finally the man, Mary and Noah found an Innkeeper who took them round to the back of his house and showed them inside a stable where animals were kept. Mary got slowly off the donkey and the man gently helped her inside, watered Noah and unpacked the bags. Not flash, but at least they had somewhere safe and dry to stay for the night.

The 3 camel riders were easy to spot out east. They were up and going each evening as the sun began to set. Theirs was a long journey and I came to realize I was very much a part of it as they would often stop, point up at me and carry on. I was indeed their guide. Without my light their journey would not happen. Night travel had many dangers with wild animals and the risk of taking a wrong trail.

Everything had quietened down in the towns around about. I was just relaxing into my nightly duty when the sky seemed to come alive - nearly frightening the light out of me. All around the sky was filled with angels. An angel choir was in full voice.

This must all be connected to my God given task surely. They sang loudly and beautifully. Everyone on earth will be hearing this. I was completely surrounded. It was a moment I will never forget.

I scanned my gamma ray around the hills of Bethlehem. The people had heard alright. A group of shepherds had woken up and were looking terrified. One angel flew down to talk to them so I listened carefully. She said that there was nothing to be frightened at. A special baby had been born in Bethlehem and they should go straight to town to see for themselves. They obeyed - because they just got up and left their sheep and headed off. Now that is something no Bethlehem shepherd in their right mind would do. Leave their sheep unguarded!!!!

Then I heard very clearly an instruction just for me. "Shine your light over the stable where you saw Joseph, Mary and Noah stop for the night." Mary has just given birth to a baby boy. I want you to shine your brightest and best and stay fixed over the stable. Your job is to tell the world that I, God, has sent My Son into the world. This is where He is. Come and worship."

I could have burst with joy, but now was not the time to make a mistake. So I moved and wiggled and pumped my gamma ray even harder and beamed full light down onto that stable.

The shepherds where on their way and needed to see where to go. The Innkeeper who gave them the stable to stay in for the night needed woken so he could go and see what had happened at his place.

The 3 men on their camels needed to see that I had stopped and was still so they could figure out where their journey would come to an end. They must have been star gazers. Wise men who look at the stars and study them to see if they can understand special things that are happening in the world.

I've got to see this for myself. With the slightest of movement I could stream a beam into a very small window. What a sight. There was a new born baby with his proud parents Mary and Joseph. Oh he is so beautiful lying peacefully in the straw in the manger.

They all looked so happy. It seemed as though the other animals all knew this was something special they were all quiet and content. Did I imagine it or was Noah the donkey smiling!

A racket outside announced the arrival of the shepherds. They burst in and seemed to bring the sounds of the angel choir with them. They congratulated Mary and Joseph and knelt before the baby to worship him. They said the angels had told them this was God's Son sent to earth to bring peace and joy to all people. Joseph said that God told them to name the baby Jesus.

When the shepherds left the Innkeeper arrived to see what all the fuss was about. He peered in and left looking puzzled. I hoped that someday he would know that his kindness to Mary and Joseph would be written in the history books.

Some days later the 3 men and their camels arrived in Bethlehem. As I held my light over the stable they found their way to where the baby Jesus was sitting on Mary's knee. They knelt to worship Jesus. From their studies they knew he was a special baby - the Son of God. The men each presented a gift fit for a King - gold, frankincense and myrrh. They knew exactly what to bring.

They stayed for a while adoring the baby before starting their return journey, thanking God for such a wonderful gift.

My special task was finished. I had shown people to the stable to find a special baby. Today, as I still shine, I marvel that people everywhere remember Jesus birthday. He was born 2,000 years ago as God's gift to the world. To show us how much God loves us and to teach us how to love each other.

Created By
Dorothy Willis
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