In December of 1998, I wrote the following essay as my Christmas letter to a dear friend. I offer it to you now as a reminder of simpler times and, most of all, why we celebrate.
Merry Christmas and may God bless you forever.
While wandering down memory lane recently, I got to thinking about Christmas pageants. They used to be a major part of my Christmas past.
Little boys in oversized bathrobes, striped dish towels draped on their heads; little girls dressed in white with gold tinsel halos; wise men in their cardboard crowns; Mary wears blue and Joseph’s in brown. I don’t know why Joseph always wore brown. Shepherds were often seen in blue terrycloth.
Usually, I was an angel or at least dressed as one, but I always wanted to be Mary. After all, she got to wear the pretty blue robe with a lovely scarf artfully arranged on her head and she was the star….. or so I thought at the time.
Once I actually got to play Mary. It was harder than I thought it would be to sit so still looking adoringly upon the doll in the manger, but I managed to pull it off. I was so proud.
Few hold these pageants today. Even in our churches we want something new, something with more glitz. The Christmas pageant of yesteryear is considered old fashioned, passe’ or worse, politically incorrect. I’ve come to realize it is none of those things. We have lost more than we have gained in giving them up.
I miss the simple telling of the story. I miss singing the hymns. In short, I miss Christmas pageants, especially those performed by children.
With that in mind, I pose to you the question I have been pondering. If you could, who would you like to be in the Christmas pageant?
Would you be an Angel robed in heavenly splendor, singing eternal praises to God most high?
Would you be a Shepherd fearful at the sudden appearance of a heavenly being? What an experience it must have been as the glory of the Lord shone about them and the glorious sounds of heavenly praise filled the night.
Would you be a Wise Man following a star? “For we have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” All worldly business put aside that they might pursue something greater than themselves.
Would you be Joseph? Here was an example to all mankind of honor, compassion, faith, and most of all, obedience.
Or would you be Mary?
What an honor to be chosen as the mother to the King of Kings and yet, a burden that would pierce her own heart in time. Can you imagine being in the presence of an angel bearing such news? Confusion, fear, great joy, greater sorrow were all part of her story. And what of that night of nights? Traveling all day, tired knowing the time was near, yet no place to lie down with any degree of comfort, birth in a stable; what do you suppose she felt then?
The visitors came to see the baby, yet not to coo or engage in endless talk of little meaning. They came to worship; to stand in awe and wonder, contemplating the miracle before them. Something wonderful had happened, this they knew, for the shepherds had told their tale and a new star shown brightly in the heavens. Do you suppose, that for even the briefest of moments, they realized they were looking upon the savior of the world?
Dare they hope……….
Would you be among the visitors?
The stage is set, the time draws near….. who would you be in the Christmas pageant?
O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.