“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given… And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
In the Mystery of Christmas Godly Play story, we talk about the time before Christmas, advent as a time of quiet, holy mystery. It is four weeks long because we need that much time to get ready to enter the mystery. Oftentimes, however, we race right through advent without taking the time to prepare for that mystery.
Christmas Pageants have been occurring in churches for years. They are a great way to teach the Christmas story to children as they take on the roles of Mary, Joseph, the angels and the shepherds each year. St. John’s has done pageants in a number of different ways. This year, in an effort to simplify life for all of our families, and so we can all focus on what is truly important, we are going to try a new no-rehearsal format for our annual Christmas Pageant. There are no auditions or competitions for our pageant. And, our pageant this year will capture the holy chaos, the miracle, the surprise, the mystery, and the joy of the Savior’s birth. The keys to this type of pageant are flexibility and fellowship; this is about the children being invited to step forward and bear witness to the mystery.
This year we ask families to please arrive by 9am on December 24 for instructions and costume dressing in the GYM. Children can come in costume, and we’ll also have costumes available. Any parents who are willing to help get kids in costume and to help them enter the story are welcome and appreciated.
It may be holy unpredictable chaos. And in the midst of the chaos come the words of the Prophet Isaiah 11:6, “A little child shall lead them.” God calls us to be in community with one another, to relish the passing on of a generation, to hear with new ears that God is with us. Our children will have the chance once again to proclaim the gospel, to tell our faith story in the context of our liturgy. It’s the story that’s important; allowing participants to create a memory so that the story becomes their own. Emmanuel – God is with us. And at a Pageant, God is within each and every one of us.