Sunday, December 14, 2008

Today was the children’s Christmas pageant at church, an annual event that warms the heart of parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts and uncles (who beam and cheer)—and older siblings (who snicker and sneer).

It includes off-key carols sung with gusto. Wise men fidgeting beneath the weight of their crowns. Wide-eyed shepherds and pint-size angels with bobbing pigtails made their way down the aisle to the cardboard stable, followed by herds of reluctant lambs and a covey of white-feathered dancing doves.

The brown-spotted cow forgot his lines and one small rabbit made a hasty retreat when he saw rows of cameras and video cams pointed at him.

There was a moment of concern when an over-enthusiastic angel turned abruptly and swept two of the smallest children off their feet.

The gray donkey will most likely recover from the unfortunate accident when the camel stepped on his tail.

Every child who wanted to participate was included in the seemingly endless stream of luminous little faces cloaked in adorable costumes.

No matter that the youthful pianist played so fast the cherub choir couldn’t keep up, or the little drummer boy lost his place and repeated the same line over and over! These little ones reminded us that what matters is the grace and joy in the gift of perfect love.

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