By the time you read this, the Christmas “mini-pageant” our church kids are presenting this year will be history.
But although this church is definitely a non-prophet organization, I can already tell you, as I’m writing two days before the event, it was cute and sweet, beautiful and full of meaning.
Right now, pageant practice is in the morning. If you walked through our church fellowship hall today and took a look at the stuff on the tables, you’d think a flock of Wise Men had molted.
Bethlehem didn’t see those wise fellows every day. Their appearance in our fellowship hall is a little unusual, too. We don’t do the pageant every year. Though, come to think of it, when we remodeled the sanctuary a number of years ago, straw still lurking in the crevices of steps up to the pulpit bore mute witness to more than a few past Christmas nativity plays!
It’s good to be encouraged to think about what that first Christmas must have been like. Some little wise “men” (one-third of whom is a wise girl, my granddaughter) who’ve not broken into double digits age-wise, but still look wise for their age, help our minds start mulling. As do some shepherds in bathrobe attire, a few sheep, a donkey (my grandson), and some sweet angels who’d never have to say, “Be not afraid!” because just looking at them makes folks smile.
Of course, if the wise folks had been a little wiser, they’d have told the shepherds that herding little siblings dressed up as sheep is uphill business.
But it all “works,” drawing our minds slowly but steadily away from bathrobes and escapee sheep; it points us to Bethlehem.
My mind needed some focusing this week. The week was promising to be a bit challenging schedule-wise even before it got started.
Some of the “busy-ness” was wonderful! One grandson was to be born on Monday (and he was!). Another was due on Wednesday. (Still holding, at this point.)
Then I got the call that a church member, dear friend, and amazing lady—91 years old—had passed away. I officiated and sang at the service Monday morning, jumped in my truck and made it to my newest grandson’s birth 100 miles away by early afternoon. He and I arrived at the nursery at almost the same time, a sweet meeting.
The “circle of life”? More like a whirlwind! My head was spinning. Even before the new fellow’s siblings—later cast as wise gal and cute donkey—came down with the flu. Then another granddaughter got bit by a stomach bug. (Two other grandchildren were still okay.) And one little grand-guy-to-come was still putting off his appearance.
Oh, well. It was into a world far from calm that the Babe of Bethlehem made his own entrance. It was a sinful, needy world. That’s why he came. And it’s into a heart, not a stable, that he wants to be welcomed again today. Yours.
You’re invited to visit my website at http://www.CurtisShelburne! Some of the music of the season is there–and even a potential gift or two!
Copyright 2014 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.