Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

December 15, 2012

The Christmas Play

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Probably most people who attended church when they were a child participated in a Christmas play.  Sometimes it is called a drama or a pageant, but for me it was always a Christmas play.

There was nothing sophisticated about the play . . . or the participants!  Most of the time there was a narrator who told the story while we children or young teenagers performed.  There would be a few times when a line was spoken by one of the wise men such as, “We have come from the east.  Do you know where the baby has been born?”  Or the innkeeper might say, “I have no room.”

Those of us participating dressed the part in whatever our parents could manage to find around the house.  The angel was always a girl in a long white dress . . . or something similar.  Mary always was dressed in blue . . . usually just a piece of blue cloth draped over her dress. And all the boys wore bathrobes!  Yes, bathrobes!  We would just wear the robe over whatever clothes we had worn to church that night.  We didn’t even go barefooted or dress in sandals.  We just wore the shoes we wore to church.

I don’t ever remember being Joseph . . . or one of the wise men.  I think I was always a shepherd!  I distinctly remember being a shepherd on several occasions.  The reason I know is how I recall trying to find a shepherd’s staff each year.  Part of my education at that age was learning that no tree grows in a u-turn!  I do know that we would find some odd shape staff . . . and even on a couple of occasions we used a limb that was soft enough to bend the end over and tie it with wire so that it looked like it had a hook at the top!

I always thought the innkeeper had the best part . . . even if it was a speaking part.  All he ever did was stand outside a cardboard-made prop with the word “Inn” painted on it.  Sometimes a door was painted on the cardboard and a section of the Inn was cut out to look like a window and all the innkeeper had to do was look out the window to Mary and Joseph and shake his head, “No.”

Those were delightful days . . . oh, yes, we were nervous!  But it was part of going to church and participation was mandated . . .  by our teachers and enforced by our parents!  But I can say that we learned well the Christmas story!  I wonder how folks would respond to such a simple presentation today?

From such an experience comes one of the most delightful stories I have ever heard.  A pastor related what happened in his church with the children and a Christmas play.  The church made the identical presentation each year.  The children looked forward to being a part of the play.  In the church was a young boy that had been the victim of polio.  He wore braces on his legs and required the use of crutches.  He wanted so much to be in the play.  For a couple of years he was passed by because of his limitations.  But on this particular year he was asked if he would like to be the innkeeper.  He responded with joy and excitement.

He only needed to open the door of the inn and respond to Mary and Joseph by saying, “I have no room.”  He practiced his line over and over.  He was confident . . . and so excited.  He did well with each rehearsal.  On the night of the play, he took his place and waited for his moment.

At last, Mary and Joseph knocked at the door of the end.  As the young boy opened the door . . . his excitement and joy overwhelmed him.  He responded loudly and with great enthusiasm, “Please come in . . . I have been waiting for you!”

There was laughter by the congregation . . . but the pastor said it was the best Christmas play ever!

What a line!  “Please come in . . . I have been waiting for you.”  Really now?  Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?  Christ has come to earth . . . and His desire is to be invited in to each and every heart!  Have you asked Him in?

“Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in . . . .”  (Revelations 3:20)



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