Emmanuel and Christmas Pageants
Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 11:13AM
Staci

There are many things churches have had to leave behind, because no one signed up, or no one came. But the slow walk down the aisle for Mary and Joseph, a baby doll wrapped in swaddling clothes, and a gaggle of angels, shepherds and kings,  still happens.

Why?

Of course, the children are adorable, but there is something that happens to us adults at a Christmas pageant that tugs at our hearts in a unique way. Because what becomes real once again as we watch or participate ourselves, what gets told to us by those bathrobes and crowns and wings is not just a Bible story of the birth of a baby. It zeros our hearts in on what happens when God comes to live with us, to be like us.  Emmanuel happens right there in the enactment.  It allows us all to share and receive the sense of God’s presence, “God with us,” which is much a bigger story than the story itself.

What the costumes and the simple pageants ask us as church to do, is to stop just watching the tableau, and begin living in it– to be 'present' to one another. To receive Emmanuel together as community.  Children, Youth and Adults.

Because we too know the longing that gets tapped in us when we see the angles in their tinsel wings, the kings with their swagger, and when we see those shepherds acknowledge one another when the scripture is read, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:15).  What is truly relevant to the life of a faith community are relationships of depth and a community of people who are 'present' to one another.  That is the reason I love the pageant. God came to be with us.  And all of us, on some level, want to go to Bethlehem and receive Emmanuel in a real way.   That, we can and need to do, together. 


Article originally appeared on Richmond Beach Congregational Church UCC (http://rbccucc.org/).
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