Have you heard of the book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever? One of my teachers read it aloud to us in the weeks before Christmas, and I always fondly remember it this time of year. It’s funny and heartwarming while bringing a simple message to love the unloved and that everyone can find miracles and wonder this time of year. It also reminded me of my own participation in our church’s Christmas programs as a child. Learning the songs, hours of practice, usually a frazzled director making last minute changes, arguments about whether children should sing a certain verse of “Good Christian Men Rejoice” (which contains another word for donkey!), etc. No one in my family can forget the year my six-year-old cousin was an angel in his church’s Christmas play. Dressed in a white robe with his silver tinsel halo upon his head of blond curls, a few missing teeth….and a nice shiner from an unfortunate fall a few days before. I once witnessed a Christmas Pageant where two shepherds used their staffs as light sabers and had a mini-duel while the angels proclaimed the good news.
Christmas programs are about angels with black eyes, new holiday outfits, learning the words to songs, and celebrating the magnificence of this time of year and the gift of the birth of our Savior. But they are also so much more.
This last Sunday, the children of Granite Springs sang their hearts out in their Christmas Songs Presentation, and I watched them with new eyes. Just days after the tragedy in Connecticut, I was moved by their earnest singing and most by their innocence. From the Busy Builders singing a sweet “Silent Night” to the Granite Kids 2-5 looking so grown up and seriously belting out their long string of “Glo-ooooo-ooooo-oooo-rias” in “Angels We Have Heard on High” to the Granite Kids K-1 strong chorus of “Go Tell It On The Mountain!” and everyone singing “Joy To The World,” it was, for me, more than just a Christmas performance. It was the youngest members of our church reminding us that life is short, and it goes by fast. They are a reminder that in times like these when we wonder where God is, we realize that God is in the love that holds us together. They are so near to that tiny baby that arrived in a small corner of Bethlehem on that night long ago, bringing a promise, bringing peace, and most of all, bringing hope.
Enjoy this season with your family, your friends, and your kids big and small. Look at the miracle of Christ’s birth through the eyes of a child, and may you find comfort and joy
Click here to see more pictures from the Children’s Christmas Program!