by Bob Wickizer

Born for This?
Bob Wickizer
Galatians 3:23-4:7

I know it must have happened in some church, somewhere, during some Christmas pageant, sometime in the last week. Let's just say there were some significant kinks. Mrs. Smith was only in her first year as the volunteer in charge, and if we're honest, it will probably be her last year. "Nightmare" would be too strong of a word to ever use for a Christmas pageant. After all, the term "perfect Christmas pageant" is an oxymoron, a contradiction that flies in the face of the incarnation whereby God took on and made holy all of the frailty of this broken vessel of our humanity. Christmas pageants were made to have rough edges. However, on this particular evening, as the pageant played on, Mrs. Smith was just a bit taken aback by the sharpness of those edges.

Maybe there were a few things she would have done differently. For instance, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to have all the second- and third-graders be animals, especially after Billy McCleester asked if they could make animal noises, and Mrs. Smith said, "Yes, Billy, that might be very realistic." Or maybe somebody could have pointed out to her that it takes a bit of time to dress and move and fix the hair of the heavenly host, especially when it is made up of 32 angels who were all between two and four years old. And who would have thought that when working with the fifth-grade narrators, Taisha and Jerod, who were actually very fine readers, who would have thought that Mrs. Smith would have wanted to go over punctuation with them?

So let's just say it was a rough afternoon in Bethlehem. Mary had been sick all morning and the bucket next to the manger was for her to use. Joseph may have been a "righteous man and unwilling to expose Mary to public disgrace," but he was also thirteen years old and decided about ten days ago that he wasn't going to enjoy this pageant at all. So Mrs. Smith knew it was going to be a struggle, but when the animals arrived behin ...

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