… and a little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6 (NIV)
Over the years I have attended many church Christmas pageants. Often a narrator reads the story while Sunday school students act the parts. There is usually a manger scene with Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds, and three kings--all portrayed by young “actors.” Loving parents and grandparents watch, eyes gleaming chuckling when mistakes are made.
When my son was very young he told me that he would be a “German Shepherd” in his play. Hopefully the presentation was a teachable moment for all of the participants.
I have witnessed programs of professional quality with adults acting the parts and a plot that include modern day Christmas as well as a re-enactments of the first Christmas.
One program stands out in my mind above all others. The usual parts were represented: angels standing behind the manger appropriately moving their huge glittery wings. Mary cuddled a human baby Jesus when necessary. It touched me to hear a woman I know to be a Jewish convert sing “Mary Did You Know?” Magnificent pageantry accompanied the approach of the three kings.
None of those things touched my heart as did the last scene. The lights snapped off and a spot light followed a very small child walking down the center aisle. She carried a large cross and a crown. When she arriving at the stage, she laid the cross beside the manger and the crown at the top. Suddenly, the lights went dark.
Dear Heavenly Father, let us never forget that the gift you gave us came in all the innocence of a baby but faced a future of suffering that would save us all.
© Christy Struben 2012