Heli, The Star of Bethlehem
The Story Behind Heli, The Star of Bethlehem
“God doesn’t look for the biggest or the brightest, but those willing to put their complete faith in what He can do in their lives!” — Harrison Woodard
Background – Heli, The Star of Bethlehem is the story of the Christmas star that led the wise men to Jesus. Matthew’s brief account of this celestial phenomenon has always fascinated me. Unlike scientists who try their best to explain what this might have been, I fully accept that God could create a special star to celebrate His son’s arrival. And this provides the background for the story.
Summary – Amanda was just a small, insignificant star in the great big universe, but she serves God faithfully. When God calls all the stars together, she joins her brothers and sisters in the throne room who have accomplishments that dwarf hers.
God proclaims that one star will be selected to proclaim the birth of Jesus. Each star makes the case for why they should be chosen for such an honor. Amanda’s simple faith in God wins the day as all the stars withdraw from consideration. God changes Amanda’s name to Heli, and tasks her with announcing the birth of Jesus.
An Answer To A Frequently Asked Question – Why Did God Change Amanda’s Name? – In the story, God changes Amanda’s name to Heli. The reason for this is that God releases power in His Word. By calling her Heli, He was changing her into a very bright star – calling things that are not as though they are.
Heli is the Finnish variant of Helen which means “bright one”. Heli is also a Hebrew name meaning “ascending”. Put them together and you get “ascending bright one”. This is similar to what God did to Abram, changing his name to Abraham, meaning “father of many nations”.
Did You Know? – Amanda, the main character in the story, was named in honor of Amanda Billups Martinez. She is an absolute sweetheart, and a gem of a person. I feel fortunate to be counted among her friends.
Heli was the name of a Finnish coworker of mine and I always thought it was a great name for a children’s character. When you factor in the meaning of the name, it works perfectly.
Character names are very important to me. I try to pick ones that are unique and add something to the story. Vega and Polaris are real star names and appear in the story. Astra, who plays a brief but important role, is Latin for star. And Tariq is Arabic for morning star.
Heli, The Star of Bethlehem was adapted for stage by Rosario E. Dunning. This makes a great Christmas play.
Biblical Theme – I usually go to God’s Word for inspiration for each story. Here are the verses selected for Heli, The Star of Bethlehem.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. — James 4:10
He determines and counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names. — Psalm 147:4
There were many verses that I could have selected, but I thought these were the very best fit. When we put our faith in God’s ability, just like Amanda/Heli, God will lift us up to our destiny.
Hope You Enjoy the story. Merry Christmas!