Next Sunday afternoon at our church, we will have our 2nd Annual Family Christmas Pageant. All of our members and anyone else who wants to come is invited to participate. We have a designated Mary and Joseph, two teenagers and we have some wise men, a few adults. Everything else is up for grabs.
We will have readers read through the Bible story of the birth of Christ and as people hear their parts, they join Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus at the manger. We will sing “Silent Night,” “Away in a Manger,” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing, accompanied by guitar music.”
There are very few costumes or props. Last year, our wise men and shepherds were in bathrobes. We had an adult show up in a cow costume. We had a couple of angels who were eating cookies. It was a menagerie of mismatched, imperfect people, coming together to pay tribute to the birth of Christ and I’ve no doubt that the residents of Heaven smiled on us.
It was simple. It wasn’t practiced or polished. We all came as we were, and approached the manger with what we had, no spectacular solos, or beautifully written soliloquies, just humble believers attempting to retell and relive part of the greatest story ever told.
Last year’s experience touched my heart in such an unexpected way. I’ve helped direct and write my share of Christmas pageants with great costumes and characters, but there’s something so genuine and raw that comes from approaching the manger just as we are.
Isn’t that what the meaning of Christmas is? Jesus left Heaven and all of glory and became one of us, a simple, frail human, so that we can approach God, just as we are. We don’t have to have the best clothes. We don’t have to have a great singing voice. We don’t have to have eloquent words.
Because of that baby in the manger, we are able and encouraged to come as we are, young and old, broken and ragtag, sick and well, happy or covered in sadness. We are called to come and witness and participate in the birth of love’s true light.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the Pinterest worthy perfection of this season. We tend to have a drive within us to seek out perfection, but we won’t get it this side of eternity. What our souls really seek is the perfect love that comes from Christ.
Taking some time this season, to remember that God’s own son wasn’t born in a castle and wrapped in fine linens, but was born in a stable and placed in a feed trough, should be enough to make us take pause and reflect that perfection is not what God seeks from us.
What He seeks from us, is our hearts and our true worship and He calls us, just as He did those shepherds so long ago, just as we are.
A simple Christmas Pageant reminded me. Perhaps you needed reminding too.
Have an awesome day!