The Star of Bethlehem

Joyce MacKichan Walker tells the story of the Three Wise Men after the birth of Jesus. The Time with Children in the worship service at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, NJ, focuses on telling Bible stories to the congregation. Storytellers from the church bring these stories to life with dramatic flair.


Three Wise Men lived a long piece away from Bethlehem and Jerusalem and they saw a star. "What’s with this star I wonder?" They saw a star rise in the east and they knew that was a special star and they followed that star until they came to the big city of Jerusalem.

In the big city of Jerusalem, they started asking around, “We saw a star. We think a king was born here. Do you know where the baby king was born?”

News traveled in Jerusalem, and King Herod – there’s already a king in Jerusalem – King Herod gets a little worried. “Why would we need another king? One king is the perfect number.” You don’t want two kings. Two kings is the trouble number. So, King Herod inquired, asked some questions at the temple which is the place where all the Jews worshiped. And he said, “Do you know anything about a king being born, a baby king? Do you know where?” 

And they said, “We do know where because our scriptures tell us that the baby king would be born in Bethlehem.” 

Ok he’s got the place, Bethlehem. When was that king born? King Herod gets his people out in the city of Jerusalem. “Find those Wise Men for me. Bring them to me secretly. Don’t tell anybody I’m interested in the new king. Two kings is trouble. And find out about the star thing.  What’s with the star?” 

So, the Wise Men came to King Herod’s palace and he said, “What’s that thing about the star? When did you see a star?” They told him they followed that star because it meant that there was a king someplace. And he said, “O.K. I want to honor the king too. Why don’t you go find the king? Find out where he is and then come on back and tell me and I’m going to honor the king too.”

I hope the Wise Men were suspicious. One king is the perfect number and two kings is trouble. The Wise Men looked at the night sky again and there was that star again. What’s with that star? There was that star again and they followed it and it took them right to the town of Bethlehem and stood over a house and they went in the house where Mary and the baby were now living. And they were filled with joy and they honored the baby king and they gave him gifts of gold, and frankincense and myrrh. But they had figured it out. One king is the perfect number and two kings is trouble, and so they did not go back and tell King Herod about the baby king. They went another way. 

What’s with that star? A star is a sign that a king is here. The real king, Jesus. A star is a sign that Jesus is with us.

Storyteller: Joyce MacKichan Walker

Text: Matthew 2:1-12

Read about Time with Children
Nassau Presbyterian Church, 2015

Joyce MacKichan Walker was the Director of Christian Education at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, NJ for eighteen years and in 2007 became the Minister of Education. A 1979 graduate of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now Union Presbyterian Seminary) and a Certified Christian Educator since 1983. Her first love within Christian education is teaching, which she actively practices at Nassau and as a workshop leader and keynoter. Her writing includes a book with Carol Wehrheim, Teaching Children Worship in the Sanctuary; a book with Linda Lebron, BeTween: Exploring Life and Christian Faith with Older Elementary Children and lots of curriculum.