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A Joyful Noise

December 16, 2013

Three out of four of our grandkids spent the night and had to be at their church twenty minutes early for their Christmas program.

With nearly an hour’s drive ahead of us and questionable road conditions, we piled into the car just as the sun was beginning to peek over the horizon. The morning was clear and brrrrisk with temps well below zero.

We arrived at the little white church with a few minutes to spare. The kids hurried off to the basement to get into costume and receive a few last minute instructions from the director.

Evie, our eleven year old granddaughter, played the angel who was sent by God to speak to Mary, Joseph, the Wisemen, and the Shepherds with news of the baby Jesus. She had several lines to remember and played her part well… head and shoulders above the others, as she stood on a chair and delivered her lines.

Our seven year old granddaughter, Kaylee, didn’t have lines to speak. Instead, she was cast in two roles: an angel and the star. She liked playing the part of an angel with it’s pristine white gown, transparent wings, and halo. In her eyes, the star costume just couldn’t compete. Sure, it was made of shimmering gold fabric, but it was bulky and made walking a bit clunky. More importantly, as the star, her role required her to stand in the back, behind the altar rail, while the Shepherds and Wisemen gazed upon her. Kaylee preferred front row center.

The Children’s program director was at a loss… she was short a few kids, and she’d assigned double roles to as many kids as possible. She was in a fix… Then, she had an idea… she asked our grandsons, Joe and Brody ages fourteen and sixteen, to be in the play. The boys agreed and were cast as King Herod’s soldiers. At about six feet tall, they towered over the younger kids.

The narrator read the Christmas Story as the kids played their parts.

After the birth of Jesus, the angel (Evie) warned Mary and Joseph to leave Bethlehem because King Herod wanted to do him harm. The little family scurried off the scene as King Herod and his two soldiers entered from stage right.

The Wisemen spoke with the King, who asked them to return and inform him where the baby Jesus could be found so he, too, could go and worship the Savior.

True to the age-old story, the Wisemen suspected King Herod had evil intentions and returned home by another route.

Years later, King Herod fell dramatically to the floor, and died. Brody, soldier #1, and Joe, soldier #2, picked up the deceased king by his wrists and ankles and unceremoniously carried him off.

With the threat removed, the angel informed Joseph, Mary and Jesus that it was safe to return to Bethlehem…

“Hey, it’s safe to come back to Bethlehem now,” Evie announced.

After the performance, the kids sat with their families for the duration of the service. Evie chose to sit on my right.

The organist began to play and as we sang, Evie quietly said “We are usually louder than this…“

Partway through that first verse, I noticed that Evie was not singing. I nudged her with my elbow, prompting her to participate.

She whispered, “I don’t sing.”

“It’s pleasing to God when you sing,” I stated.

She remained silent.

“If I can sing with this voice, you can sing, too,” I leaned down and whispered. (I have a number of environmental allergies, and despite a boatload of medications, my voice is often quite gravelly… the more gravelly it is, the softer I sing).

She rolled her eyes briefly, then flashed me a smile and began to sing.

  1. permalink

    Good memories! Glad you had a good trip!

    (Now, if we can just get Jim to sing!)


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