“Zoooom!” Frankie whizzed between two trees, his light leaving trails like shooting stars. “Come on you all!” he shouted. “I’ll be the first one at the church!” The fireflies took off after him, spinning and twisting as they zipped between branches and danced over waterfalls.
“Why are we going to church?” asked Flip, a firefly with a pale blue glow.
Frankie somersaulted in the air. “Because it’s Christmas Eve and tonight the children are performing their Christmas play.”
Flip flashed her light on and off. “Now I remember.”
“I watched their rehearsal last night.” Frankie continued. “Everyone lights a candle and the Christmas tree and stage area are strung with fairy lights in red, blue, green and gold. It looks beautiful and the play is the story about baby Jesus and how He came to save the world.”
The church was an old wooden building surrounded by a picket fence and thick trees. Patches of yellow spilled from the windows and people were streaming through the doors. Christmas carols were playing and air was full of excitement.
“When the lights go off, we’ll go in.” Frankie told the others. “Just follow me.”
A couple of minutes later, there was a bang and a shower of sparks exploded from the side of the church. At the same time, everything went dark. “That was exciting!” squealed Freda.
“No, no. I don’t think that was part of the plan.” Frankie turned to the rest of the fireflies. “Wait here and I’ll go and see what’s happened.”
Inside the church, men were lighting candles and passing them down the rows. The pastor was at the front making an announcement. “I’m very sorry, ladies and gentlemen. Our power cable has blown up and we have no electricity. We’ll have to cancel the play as we need the Christmas lights for it.” Behind him, Mary and Joseph were sitting next to the manger.
Frankie’s heart fell and his light dimmed. After all their hard work, he thought. The children will be so disappointed.
The idea came to him as he flew back to the others. “Of course! That’s what we can do. It’ll be hard work but together we’ll manage.” He explained his plan of action and the others whooped with joy.
“Way to go!”
“We can do that!”
“What are we waiting for?”
“Let’s go!” Frankie shouted. “We must get into position before it’s too late. Dim your lights now.” The fireflies poured into the church, fluttering gently as they spread across the stage area. “Flip, make sure every light on the tree is covered by a firefly.”
“Freda, get your group to spread across the ceiling lights.”
“On our way.”
“The rest of you, follow me.” Frankie led the way to a large glass star that hung directly over the manger. “On my count; one, two, three.”
The congregation gasped as the fireflies began to glow. The ones on the Christmas tree flashed their lights on and off, illuminating the colours brighter than ever before. The ones in the ceiling, burned like brilliant stars in a velvet sky and the star over the manger was almost too bright to look at.
The pastor looked round in amazement. “Well I never. This truly is a Christmas miracle.” The people began to clap and shout and Frankie beamed at the other fireflies.
“Keep shining.” he urged.
“Let’s pray and thank God for the lights, and then the children can bless us with their play.”
Frankie had the best view in the whole church. The children did a wonderful job and the wise men gazed up at the star. “We followed the bright light and it led us to baby Jesus. We bring Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” They laid them at the manger and worshipped the baby boy, along with the shepherds and angels.
The fireflies were exhausted at the end of the evening. They had glowed right through the play, through two carols and through the closing prayer. “I’m exhausted.” said Frankie as he settled down to sleep on a leafy branch. “But what a wonderful time we’ve had. Merry Christmas and good night, everyone.”
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