Christmas Eve is quite the production at our church… literally. Mary rides in on a donkey. There are sheep on stage as the Christmas Story is recounted, and the wise men arrive and approach the platform on real camels. There is a brass quintet and a choir. And at the end, every person present lights their candle from a neighbor’s flame (the original flame is from Mary and Joseph’s stable lantern), as the sanctuary lights dim and we become a sea of faces lit by candlelight. It’s a beautiful, breathtaking tradition, and it’s the highlight of my Christmas season.
This year, we’ve been asked to play the holy family. When I received the invitation, I couldn’t make up my mind. “I’m not sure I’m going to make a good Mary,” I thought. After all, I often spend the majority of the service with tears in my eyes, and there’s no telling if we can keep T (our three-month-old girl) happy for the whole service. I wrote my response: “Thanks for the offer, but we’ll pass.” But I couldn’t hit Send. Continue reading