It only lasts for ten minutes and twenty-seven seconds. It is, quite possibly, the shortest Christmas pageant in the history of all Christmas pageants. Regardless, each September we begin auditioning and rehearsing our sweet, wide eyed four and five year olds for the MainKids Christmas Pageant. ?How can something so short take so long to prepare?? one might ask. Please allow me to explain.
The first rehearsal usually goes something like this:
Me: Does anyone know who Jesus' mom was?
Me: Does anyone know where Jesus was born?
And so that's exactly where we start. We begin telling the children the story of Christmas.
Me: It's a story so amazing and so wonderful that it's unlike any story you have ever heard before. Jesus is the King of the World, and yet, He was born to a young and plain woman named Mary in a barn and placed in an animal eating trough. He didn't even come from the hospital! He certainly wasn't born in a palace, and He had a mom and dad just like you and me.
We continue telling all of the parts. Their eyes get wider and wider! But, it's too much to take in when you hear it just one time. So we talk about it each week for all of September, October, November, and the first week of December.
What you see is the ten minutes and twenty-seven seconds: the costumes, the precious faces, the adorableness, and the sweet voices, but that is only the final 10% tiny tip of the iceberg that is the MainKids Christmas Pageant. The remaining 90% under the surface is actually the most important which doesn't occur in front of an audience at all. The most important part is that the story of Jesus's birth has been firmly planted in the hearts and minds of those who are our tiniest.
Every year it hits me; the story of Christmas is so incredibly unique. How could we ever take it for granted? How could it ever be so common place? By hearing it so much, have we actually missed it? It's a story so familiar to us as Christians that sometimes we forget the miracle of Mary and Joseph, the wonder of the shepherds and the joy of the angels. All of the things that have become a part of the vernacular of our lives in December are, indeed, amazing.
And with our adult eyes and adult ears, perhaps sometimes we forget.
But in the eyes of a child, we can truly see it the way it should be seen: with wide eyes and nurtured hearts; we are poised to welcome the King of the World.