This past week I clicked on a Facebook post by a member of Grace. It was a comical post but it also brought tears to my eyes. It’s a Christmas Pageant where a sheep pulls the doll-baby Jesus out of the manger during a song and starts dancing with him. Simply adorable. The link to the original story and video is below.
You and I don’t know the children, yet we know the children. We know they are learning. We know they are participating in a tradition we’ve come to know as sacred. We know the unexpected things the children do are often the most memorable of all. So, watching the video was bitter-sweet for me. The in-person kids Christmas program is one of the most precious events in a church’s life–tears over what will not be this year. Simultaneously, my heart was warmed by the spirit of the sheep character dancing with the doll-baby Jesus.
On the 20th of December, if all goes according to plan, we will have a Grace Kids’ virtual Christmas program. Some things about it will be different–including how we participate from our own homes. The story, however, will not change. It’s a story meant to lead us to the manger to embrace Jesus. It’s a story meant to start our spirits dancing. It’s a story meant to whisper God is with us at all times, through all things. Hold that hope. Hold hope through memories. Hold hope through imagining the promises fulfilled.
This Sunday, the 13th of December, we will glimpse a messiah who knows his mission. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, “he will proclaim, The Lord God’s Spirit is upon me because he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release for the captives and liberation for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and a day of vindication for our God, to comfort all who mourn.” (Isaiah 61:1-4) This coming Sunday worship will remind us that this baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, becomes the love of God who swaddles us in comfort and healing
Where do you need comfort or healing today? Who is a person you care about who needs comfort and healing? As a prayer today, take a moment to imagine an adult Jesus drawing near. Quietly he drapes a blanket of warmth, light and healing over your shoulders. He says, “I understand;” “I am with you and all will be well.” Rest in the moment. Then watch the video, and remember again the joy we are meant to have dancing through this journey called life with the saving grace named Jesus.
An adorable Nativity scene in an East Tennessee church took a hilarious turn when the little girl playing a sheep decided to dance with baby Jesus.