Ah, the beauty of the nativity. The lights are low, creating a heavenly glow around the stable. Tonight, we celebrate the birth of Christ with our Christmas pageant. It will be perfect, or so I hope.
Mary and Joseph hover over the Baby Jesus, snug in his swaddling clothes. The director gives the cue to begin. Somebody’s not watching, so he cues again. In the corner, the shepherds appear in the “field.” The spotlight comes on. After one false sweep, it finds the angels as their sweet “glory to God” wafts through the air. The shepherds quake convincingly. An angel’s wing wobbles, but another angel steadies it. Oops, there’s a “fallen” angel. She trips on her robe withdrawing back to heaven. The others reach out to help. I smile. Others giggle.
“With great joy,” the shepherds travel around the room on their way to Bethlehem. The smallest one straggles, bestowing huge smiles on the audience as he goes. The biggest one comes back for him. They arrive at the manger and strike their poses. A shepherd drops his staff at the Holy Family’s feet. Joseph hands it back to him without looking up. More smiles and giggles.
The wise men begin their procession, singing “We Are Wise Men Traveling from the East.” They kneel before the manger, presenting their gifts (without incident). When it’s time to return by another route, they instead go back the way they came. Smiles all around.
It wasn’t perfect, not by any stretch. But, we’ll remember it—for the things that went wrong. We smile or giggle at mistakes, but we immediately forgive the actors for making them. We smile because we know God forgives us our mistakes, too. That’s why Jesus came to earth as a baby—so that we can all be forgiven.
Merry Christmas to all Blog4Writers subscribers—and to those who happen to visit during this holy season.
This Christmas story first appeared in Hometown Magazine of the KenTenn Area, December/January 2013-14.
Image source: http://mrg.bz/2LxcNQ