Read: Matthew 1:18-25
I came across this story from a Christmas Eve Pageant of years ago. The writer was a member of a church youth group at the time.
I was chosen to play Joseph and believe it or not, my future wife, Allison, was chosen to play Mary. We did our parts with seriousness and commitment, looking as pious as possible. And then it came time for the shepherds to enter. The choir was singing “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night” and some of our fellow young people dressed in flannel bathrobes and appropriate headgear proceeded to the altar steps where Allison and I looked reverently at the straw, which contained a naked light bulb. With his back to the congregation, one of our peer shepherds said in a very loud whisper for all the cast to hear, “Well, Joe, when you gonna pass out cigars?”
The spell of that occasion was not simply broken by his remark, it was exploded. Our Mary and Joseph cover was completely destroyed as it became impossible to hold back the bursts of laughter. The chief angel, standing on a chair behind us was the worst. She shook so hard that she fell off her chair and simply rolled over on the floor, holding her stomach. The strains of “Silent Night” or “0 Little Town of Bethlehem” were sufficient to cover the uncontrolled snorts of the main characters. Our much upset but good-sported youth advisor said, “The only thing that didn't go to pieces was the light bulb in the manger, it never went out.”
The light in/from the manger never goes out! This, my friends, is a first-rate image for our days (Hebrews 1:1).
Prayer: “All Knowing God, give us the hope we need in the light of Jesus.” Amen.
Talk time: Ask your family what their favorite memory of Christmas was.
Love during Advent: Encourage your family to work for a day at a homeless shelter or at Salvation Army.