On Christmas Pageants
I am a child of the church. Except for those years I was out in the wilderness rebelling, I have spent every Christmas in and around the church. I have been a participant in almost every imaginable kind of Christmas pageant as both child and participant, young adult and musician (I played the violin), and then as youth pastor and pastor now for 29 years. They have been scripted, costumed, orchestrated, done with sets, outside, on stages, both serious and funny. They have been part of Sunday worship, during SS, after an all-church meal, in the afternoon, Sunday nights and midweek. The only missing ingredient is the presence of various animals (I'm still waiting!).
Last Sunday night we returned from a musical feast in St. Paul at Northwestern College's Christmas concert, we arrived at 7:00 for the MCC "Christmas in the Field" (though it was inside the sanctuary this year). The program was elegantly simple: Christmas carols with minimal narration. The 50-60 of us enjoyed the kids in front and we all sang together they way churches should sing. One Westmont student who came down to the service said: "My heart really needed this!"