Take Your place on Love’s stage
This week I was invited to retell the Christmas story to a classroom of four and five-year olds. I brought with me my hand-painted wooden nativity set by an artist in South Carolina, a treasured gift from my Aunt Jennifer. The Christmas story is rich with lead parts from the Angel Gabriel and Mary who open the love story, to loyal and steadfast Joseph, a supernova, a gaggle of awestruck shepherds and their sheep, the stable and “love” menagerie, three gilt-rich wise men and their regal dromedaries. Even a donkey charged with carrying a most important load to Bethlehem is integral to the story.
I believe the Christmas story is still being written and each one of us can be assigned a lead part this year. God is ever cast-calling for willing hearts. Here are some openings:
“Bright star:” No matter how dark and uncertain the circumstances, you choose to be the light.
“Stable:” An unexpected calm and warm setting where God can come and birth something noble and good. Maybe even a miracle.
“Joseph:” Pride and self-interest are set aside. For this role, you must rise to the occasion. Be quietly faithful, trusting and forgiving. Do whatever is needed to make way for love in the world.
“Mary:” You are courage. God uses you in a beautiful, creative way. In every season, even the most difficult ones, your prayer is the same: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”
“Angel Gabriel:” Invisible wings outstretched behind you, God taps you to narrate the love story. Hope is your message. Say these words: “Nothing is impossible with God.”
“Magi:” Longing to experience Christmas in your deep, you throw caution to the wind, travel outside your particular comfort zone, and follow the Bright Star for a glimpse of a divine reality. The secular world and Herod’s charm land on deaf ears this year, because your soul is longing for an authentic encounter with God. You want to be changed.
“The Donkey:” You will be the work horse and gladly carry the burdens of others on your back. Some will question your simple gestures, but God only sees love.
“The Shepherds:” You easily tear up in shock and wonder for the goodness and glory happening right smack in the middle of your field. You spend Christmas in a kneeled posture of gratitude.
So many possibilities to perform in the Christmas drama. Will you be a player on Love’s stage this Christmas? It’s quite simple. Respond to God’s love already planted deep within you. Getting up on stage may feel daunting, scary really, but the Director is calling, “Let go and trust me.”