The Meenister’s Log
One of the delights of Parish Ministry was attending the Nativity Play performed by the Sunday School children
Many a time, there would be missed cues, garbled speeches, and always some tot waving to her Mum and Dad in the audience.
I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve heard of the Magi bringing, as one of their gifts – Frankenstein.
And the shepherd, with toy lamb welded to his shoulder, staring heavenward, his eyes shielded by his hand, throughout the entire performance.
But, oh the joy. One elderly parishioner had tears of joy running down her cheeks as she watched her grandchildren participate in one particular play – she had terminal cancer, but she wasn’t crying because this would be the last time that she would see them perform – these were tears of joy, as she drank in the whole innocence of the children and the happiness that created a lovely diversion from the pain and discomfort she was feeling.
The youth group at a certain church was performing a nativity play.
Joseph and Mary and all the other characters were in place and ready.
They did their parts with seriousness and commitment, looking as pious as they possibly could
And then it came time for the shepherds to enter. Dressed in flannel dressing-gowns and toweled head gear, the shepherds proceeded to the altar steps where Mary and Joseph looked earnestly at the straw which contained a single naked light bulb that was playing the part of the glowing newborn Jesus.
With his back to the congregation, one of the shepherds, pulling out a hip-flask, said to the person playing Joseph, in a very loud whisper for all the cast to hear, “Well, Joe, shall we wet the baby’s head?!
The solemn spell of that occasion was not simply broken by his remark, it was exploded. Mary and Joseph’s cover was completely destroyed as it became impossible to hold back the bursts of laughter.
The chief angel, standing on a chair behind them was the worst of all. She shook so hard in laughter that she fell off her chair and took the curtained back drop and all the rest of the props down with her. She just kept rolling around on the floor holding her stomach because she was laughing so hard. The whole set was in shambles.
But do you know what? The only thing that didn’t go to pieces was that light bulb in the manger. … it never stopped shining.