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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HISTORICAL genre (05/03/07)

TITLE: Words of Fire
By Pat Guy


Dishonor had become difficult for both of them to bear so he carried on as if it didn’t matter, and tended to hug her more often. But he knew, that she knew … it did matter. Honor upon a house was important to a husband.

Undeserved shame had come upon their heads – even more so on his. In the eyes of his people she was his responsibility to protect and keep pure. Rumors had spread like fire. Now it appeared he not only was unable to lead his family but he was weak for keeping an unfaithful wife.

Other sordid whispers led to other sordid gossip and people began to turn their heads, and he knew it would continue for them … and for the unborn Child. If only he could protect them now.

Little did Joseph know, the impact an event in the skies would have on their lives one day.


Astrological Scholars discovered an unusual phenomenon in the skies one morning and urgently scoured their books on a hunch they had at one point come across a reference to ‘a bright morning star.’ What they found prompted them to quickly dress in their finest apparel and gather gifts befitting a King.

With regal haste, an entourage of Magi traveled from the East through laborious terrain as this ‘star’ guided their direction to the foreign land of Jerusalem – these men who were advisers to kings.

Yet their journey was not complete when they arrived, for they learned from Scribes of Law Herod was not the king they sought, and word spread of a new King these Magi were seeking to worship … in Bethlehem.

This is where they needed to be.

So they set off with no repose confident of their destination – no star was needed – no star was seen until … Bethlehem.

They were overjoyed at its new sighting. This wondrous star did not rest over a palace, nor a kingdom – it rested over a lowly house of meager means.

Word spread of important foreigners visiting Joseph and Mary’s house. Those who followed the entourage marveled at the strange beasts adorned in such magnificent array. They had never seen skin the color of rich onyx as servants of their own standing delivered chests of gifts to the honored house.

What lay now at the couple’s feet were riches beyond their imagination. Treasures to ponder – to store away for what might lie ahead … fit for a King.

The Child King played among the royal chests frustrated at the reluctance of their latches. One Magi beamed and bent down to open each one – the sheen of gold by lantern’s flame illuminated the Child’s delight as he reached for coins of strange markings.

A pungent fragrance attracted his attention and he turned toward the nodules of Frankincense – he thought they were playthings. He noticed the last chest and began to finger the chips of resinous Myrrh. An idea had struck him and he scooped some of all three onto the floor and began to ‘create.’ Parents and worshipers enjoyed his pleasure and watched … fascinated.

The Child stopped, looked at his hands and inhaled the heady fragrance … he lifted his palms to His mother … curious. Joseph noticed the pained look in Mary’s eyes. They hoped never to use the Myrrh for what it’s intended. A chill flashed through his heart. He refused the tears that threatened, for it was a time of celebration and of great joy – honor had been restored upon his house … and the word would go before them.

When time came to go home to Nazareth … no one would ever turn away again.

Respect and dignity rested once again upon their heads … and their Child.

Little did Joseph know, the impact one star would have upon their lives that day … a bright and morning Star.

The Magi left … as did the astrological phenomenon … and the word spread like fire.

*Based on the historical appearance of ‘The Star of Bethlehem’ recorded in Matthew chapter two.


Author’s note:

Myrrh was used to prepare/embalm for burial.

Many Scholars still investigate this event called ‘The Star of Bethlehem.’ Scientists have tried to prove in theory that a temporary phenomenon did exist by charting the constellations as far back in the time when they believe Christ was born; or by explaining various phenomena that can occasionally, and naturally occur in deep space. It has also been mentioned that it was not uncommon for stars to be chosen to honor Kings.

The debate continues … for some.

© 2007

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This article has been read 1163 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 05/10/07
Wonderful look at the inside story of the birth of Christ. Yes, the debate rages — for some. But not for the rest of us. Well done.
Leigh MacKelvey05/10/07
A good base for an historical piece! I especially liked the child, using an uppercase C and the picture of Him playing like a child. The fragrance on His hands and His puzzlement and Mary, Joseph's reaction was just "fine writing!"
Joanne Sher 05/13/07
Quite fascinating to me - your details made this wonderful story even more so. Very rich and interesting and detailed. Great characterization!
Sharlyn Guthrie05/14/07
I enjoyed this fresh narrative on a familiar story. I especially enjoyed the emphasis you placed on the star. Awesome!
Rita Garcia05/14/07
I enjoyed the freshness you wove into the details of the "Morning Star." History at its finest!
Jan Ackerson 05/14/07
The "toddler Jesus" bit is just so, so appealing! I wanted more, more of that! I'm not sure if you need the prologue, it seems that the heart of the matter was the interlude with the Magi.

Wonderful writing, as always.
Julie Arduini05/15/07
This would be an easy one (for me) to tell rather than show but you showed this so well I felt like I was there. The descriptions and verbs were so strong. This is one compelling read!
Rita Garcia05/15/07
Wonderful!! Enjoyed every word!
Mariane Holbrook 05/15/07
This is a "precious" piece and I don't use that word often. It was tenderly written and I loved every bit of it. Kudos.
T. F. Chezum05/16/07
I enjoyed this a lot. Your entries are always so well written. Great job.
Suzanne R05/16/07
I never thought about the visit of the magi restoring the honour that had been lost - good point. And a lovely picture. I shudder to think of a baby or toddler playing with myrrh, but it works well. Great writing!
dub W05/16/07
Insightful and written with an eye to perfection.
LaNaye Perkins05/16/07
I love the way you wrote of this blessed event. Wonderfully written!
Sara Harricharan 05/16/07
I think this was good. It was a little confusing with the wise men and the three ... and then bethlehem. Maybe add something in the middle for a larger separation and then continue? Just a thought, otherwise, this a was a new look and I liked the thought that Joesph hugged her more often even in spite of. Very nice.
Val Clark05/17/07
Loved the child Christ in this. And the forshadowing of the Cross. But most of all the allusion to His creativity. :-) yeggy