Sunday afternoon was Resurrection Children’s Christmas program. In spite of the snow and cold, families made the trek to our “Bethlehem Marketplace” and then participated in the retelling of the Christmas story. Children were dressed as angels, shepherds, stars, sheep, wise men as well as Mary and Joseph. The stable of Bethlehem was filled with life.
Families have been attending Christmas programs for generations. I remember being a wiseman as a child (some might joke that it was my one-time experience); I hope someday to see my future grandchildren being shepherds or sheep. Christmas programs allow all of us to enter into the story of Christ’s birth and to experience the wonder and surprise within it. Too often we treat the stories of the Bible as abstract history lessons that are dusty and dull. To act out the story helps it come alive and fresh, filled with truth, hope and love.
Haddon Robinson, a noted evangelical preacher, did many of his sermons as a first person narrative. He said recently, “You can take that story from the point of view of one of the characters and tell it. You don’t have to be a great actor. It’s amazing how interesting it is for people to hear somebody who as a character relives that story. In our day it can make a great impact.” http://www.preaching.com/resources/articles/11565763/page-4/
This Christmas eve I will be retelling the Christmas story in a first person narrative. It will be my first at Resurrection, but I rejoice that the children have prepared the way.