Advent is truly a busy time of preparation. Being part of the audience at Chapel of the Cross, Madison, for the performance of the Nativity Pageant brought the reason for such preparation home to everyone present.
The children were filled with anticipation reading their lines, dressing in their costumes and of course, finding their places on stage. Children of all ages were making ready – and lots of children there were playing many parts. The smallest were precious, gentle lambs; then there were donkeys, horses, cows and even pigs. The three narrators were seriously watching and waiting to ensure their lines were timed to perfection. The shepherds were excited and felt the anticipation of the audience rising. One shepherd even wanted to dance and sing. The three wise men were a little older and exemplified somber patience and wisdom as was their reason for being. Then there were the angels with a leader angel who pronounced her lines and set the stage. Mary and Joseph were both serene and knowing.
The preparation was complete. The nativity pageant began! The lowly animals crowding around the manager were filled with wonder waiting for the greatest gift. Some even ran from the stage to hug a parent or touch a hand only to return to the stage again. The excitement was building. The music began with “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel……Rejoice, Rejoice!” ….and that, my friends, is what everyone on stage and in the parish hall certainly did as voices were raised in song and smiles beamed brightly.
The children were filled with such joy as they delivered their lines and played their parts with gusto. From their voices raised singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem”, “Away in the Manger”, “We Three Kings” to “Joy to the World”, we felt the Anticipation, the Hope and the Love. When Silent Night’s last words rang out- ”Silent Night, Holy Night, Son of God, Love’s Pure Light, Radiant beams from thy Holy Face, With the dawn of redeeming grace. Jesus, Lord, at thy Birth”, the audience knew, without a doubt, that the Christ Child was the Gift… the Greatest Gift of Love. The children’s faces reflected the radiant beams of Love and they were contagious spreading throughout the audience. Happiness and Joy filled the night as children ran to their parents and the joy continued to grow.
“Jesus, Lord, at thy Birth! Jesus, Lord at thy Birth!”
Brenda Davis Hawkins
Grandmother of Sadie & Shea Haas
Church of the Holy Trinity, Vicksburg