The Star: Following Something Bigger

Recently we went to see The Star. It’s a retelling of the Nativity story from the perspective of the animals. While faithful to the mainstream Christian telling of the story, it puts a humorous spin on the familiar story, attempting to make it lighthearted.

The movie starts at “Nine months B.C.” It shows an angel telling Mary that she is to bear a child. The message is overheard by a mouse named Abby. Abby attempts to tell the other animals what is happening.

Meanwhile, we see a pair of mill donkeys, one younger and one older, chained to a wheel, going around and around, milling. The younger one dreams of escaping to join the Royal Caravan. He feels that is important, and he does not feel that milling is an important use of his life.

When he finally escapes, he injures an ankle. He is treated by a woman who names him Boaz (Bo, for short.) That woman is Mary. In spite of Mary’s kindness, Bo and his friend Dave (a dove) plan to escape to join the caravan. Eventually, the call goes out for the census and Mary and Joseph depart for Bethlehem, leaving Bo and Dave behind.

At the same time, the Three Wise Men arrive at Herod’s palace with their donkeys, Felix, Cyrus, and Deborah, who are keeping a running commentary on the proceedings. They talk of the new King. Herod determines to find the child and have him killed. He sends one of his most vicious warriors, accompanied by two bad dogs named Rufus and Thaddeus. They have interrogated Abby, so they know where to look. Bo and Dave realize that Mary and Joseph are in danger.

On their way to warn Mary and Joseph, they encounter a sheep named Ruth who is following the star that has been seen in the sky. The three of them set off to save Mary and Joseph and the child, and complications ensue. At one point, the group breaks up. Bo has a critical choice to make.

Eventually, they reconnect and they cross paths with the Wise Men. Mary and Joseph are saved, and their baby, Jesus, is born in a manger, surrounded by the Wise Men and their donkeys, Bo and Dave, Ruth and her flock, and others.

The movie gets there by way of some wonderfully silly humor. You’ll enjoy it.

There are a couple of takeaways for me from The Star. First, there are several situations in which characters find the need for forgiveness and receive it. It reminds us to forgive, even when we find it difficult.

But the more important takeaway, for me, is that sometimes when you’re pursuing what you think you’re supposed to do, what you think is important, something bigger takes hold of you. When it does, you need to follow it.

The characters in The Star are “following yonder star”, which is leading them to the birthplace of Jesus. What is your star? Are you willing to dedicate everything you have to following that, wherever it may lead you? That is your life’s work. That is what you’re here to do. Let it take hold of you and follow where it leads.

And enjoy the movie.