Sunday, December 16, 2007
I freely admit that I was hoping the first night of the Living Nativity would be cancelled. I may have prayed to that end. Nope. The show must go on, so I trudged up the street dressed to stand outside on a cold, blustery, snowy night.
In the church hall the cast was preparing for the performance. The little angels looked liked they had bulked up on steroids thanks to the snowsuits underneath their costumes. Some of the kids wanted to know if the animals had arrived. I tried to prepare them for the possibility that they would be the only animals tonight but, lo and behold, the donkey and goat and sheep made it in the nick of time thanks to our resourceful farmer and another congregation member with a powerful truck.
There were a handful of people on the benches. If the parents and helpers were taken out of the mix I was the only audience member! But everyone did a great job as though there was a throng of appreciative viewers. At the end the two dozen cast members stood together for the meagre and bemittened applause.
I must be getting sappy in my dotage. I was touched by this command performance. The cast prayed before they began that some person might hear the message of God-with-us for the first time and even though I'm a little shopworn I was listening -- to my own voice actually since I narrate on tape. What they did was lovely and meaningful and now I'm sipping hot chocolate to get warm again.