Wow, this is the time of year when tradition rules all. One of my favorite memories that continues every year (in one form or another) is the Christmas Pageant, often put on by the church’s Sunday School program.
What better way to help children–and adults!–remember the true gift of Christmas than to participate in acting out the story, or watching it unfold before you. It’s always an honor to be chosen to be Mary (or so I assume–I never got to be Mary!) or Joseph.
Some boys get to play the innkeeper instead, or one of the three wise men. The rest of the boys turn into shepherds–all it takes is Dad’s bathrobe and a towel or pillowcase held around the head with some kind of sash.
All the extra girls get to be angels, whether it suits their personalities or not. But hey, they get to shout Hosanna in the highest at the shepherds. That’s worth something.
The basics of the children’s program hasn’t changed in my lifetime. Sure, a few new songs may be added. Costumes may change a little, depending on the wealth of the church or family, but the story of Jesus’ birth is the same as it ever was. It’s the story of redemption, of God’s stupendous love to us, that he sent his own son to be born of a virgin, to grow into a teacher and a messiah, who died to save his people from their sin.
Whether I’m remembering my own participation in pageants as a child, remembering the ones my kids took part in, or look forward to my granddaughters as little angels (grin), the one thing has never changed:
“And it came to pass in the days of Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. . .”