Last year baby Jesus got a traveling companion. Little Hailey wandered up to the manger with a doll she had found in the nursery and put it in with Jesus. I have a picture of her mom trying to grab her (thank heavens she missed).
Christmas pageants are one of my favorite things, probably because they tend to generate tenderness and laughter, not to mention a fair bit of pandemonium (if you haven’t read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, I highly recommend it).Christmas should always be about the children, not because it is a birth story, but because it is a story of awe and hope and love, and children are a vessel for the those things.
Awe: I remember when Jared, my eldest, was learning to talk. It was right around Christmas he learned the word “Zat?” He would point to something, ask, “zat?,” and I would name it. He would follow by saying, “love it!” Our conversations went like this… Zat? Tree. Love it! Zat? Laundry. Love it! Zat? Backhoe. Love it! Part of awe is in the discovery, and Jared had that nailed.
Hope: Children give us, not just hope, but the impetus to make the world a better place. Hope without action is meaningless.
Love, God’s greatest gift.
So come this week, to see it all unfold. Jane will be the calm in the chaos (she also wrote the script), Ed will be his usual, talented, flexible self, the choir will sing praise, Shirley will be an angel, the children will wander and wonder, and we will hear the best story ever! Afterwards, we will join in our last potluck of the year (Gloria is a saint), and share in the spirit that Jesus brought into the world, on that one, perfect day.
Some Memories of Last Year's Pageant...