Glory to God In the Highest And Pass A Tissue, Please

'Tis the season and all that, I suppose. My halls are not decked, nor are my gifts wrapped (not even bought), and I don't think I'm even going to do any baking or anything. I'm not quite the scrooge I sound like -- just very, very busy chasing kids, etc.

One thing that is new to us (being new to our area/ church) that will easily become a holiday favorite for me happened this weekend: the children's Christmas musical. So very precious!

I believe it is an annual tradition now -- children, appearing to be in kindergarten through 5th grade -- on the stage. There are soloists, some tiny dancers, a little sign language, and of course we ended with some wise men, angels, Mary, Joseph, (I guess there was a baby Jesus though I was sitting pretty far back to give all the Mamas and Daddys with cameras the best seats) -- and Sarah bawling her eyes out.

I had already started the bawling early on. Turns out one little girl froze up -- one of the very few that I actually know and have visited with.  She stumbled her lines, the director got her going again, then she just. froze. No more was coming out of her mouth. Her little face crumpled, she hid her face in her hands and cried her way back to join the chorus. She would sing a bit, then cry a bit.

Y'all remember Truvy from "Steel Magnolias"? "I have a very strict policy that no one cries alone in my presence." That is totally me. Little girl totally ripped out my heart and I just cried right along with her. Ugh.

I was worried about her, but she seemed to finally be okay, and went off stage when some others did. Turns out, she was getting her gear on to be one of the dancers. She danced, then she even had another small part that she pulled off beautifully! Whew! Recovery!

Then, the grand finale: the angels, the shepherd, the holy family -- and Sarah just cries and cries.

I watched those babies (who all know how to fix my computer, operate and sync an iphone and install your DVD player -- and would be so offended to be called "babies" -- but they are such babies) and wept. My Lord was one of them at one time. Oh, he likely didn't wear a gold lame' little bathrobe looking thing to portray a shepherd, or a sequined encased robe to portray an angel -- but that was him.

And, honestly, those little guys are as close to as we’ll get to seeing Jesus here on earth. Sure, I’ve seen them in action -- I used to teach elementary school, remember? I know they can be little toots and lie straight through their little snaggle teeth. But the reality is, they -- especially the crowd I witnessed at my musical -- are largely untainted by the world yet. As a whole their parents have shielded them from the hard things of this earth.

At our morning worship, the wee ones filed in as we were singing our final song. They were going to sing one song for us as an "advertisement" of sorts. What struck me at the time was that we were singing "Blessed Be Your Name," a sweet song about praising God through the good and bad.

As we sang "Blessed be Your name/ On the road marked with suffering/ Though there's pain in the offering/ Blessed be Your name," I thought of how many friends I have that still sing that song with gusto -- and mean every word -- choosing to praise Him though life has dealt them some awful and unfair blows. I saw the babies joining in joyfully, not having walked too much of a road of suffering yet in their little life.

'The Angel Chorus' photo (c) 2007, Brian Leon - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/So when I saw them in their little sequined and lame' robes last night, as the crowd heralded their sweet faces in, I wept. I wept that they are already being claimed for the Lord. I wept to think of my Lord, my Savior, with such a youthful face (my study of the name of Jesus this week is on 'Child' -- so hard to fathom). And... let's be real... I wept because I am just a big ol' sap and you march some adorable doodlebugs in front of me, sing a song about Jesus, and I am a puddle.
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:8-14


Don Hale said...

Sarah thank you. I heart is filled with joy.

Lisa Laree said...

My gifts are still unbought, my halls undecked, my Christmas letter unwritten...the holiday season is catching me completely unready, too. And I'd've bawled right along with you. ;-)

Sarah S. said...

Thanks, Don! A privilege to have you stop by!

Sarah S. said...

Girl, what is it about that? It's not like Christmas comes any earlier or anything... I have now purchased two gifts online. Have plans with the whole fam to do some hall-decking tomorrow. But seeing the Christmas pageant? A great way to start!

Jamie Kocur said...

What a sweet post. I've worked with children's choirs in the past and they can make me tear up too.

Christy Cate said...

I get it, Sarah! And I had tears at SoHills Candlelight Service too. Only mostly because I was laughing. The little (in your words) doodlebug who was the star (maybe 5 or 6 years old) had something in his costume to keep his little gold lame arms up. He was determined to do all hand motions with the rest of the chorus. Every time he raised his little arms, his star costume lifted up above his head and he was "lost". Hilariously cute and beautiful all at the same time! Here's hoping your holidays were more blessed than you could have imagined!

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