Good morning. Its Christmas Eve, and today there will be a lot of celebrations and a great many Christmas Eve services, focusing on the nativity story. There are carols, pageants with children and live animals, all manner of events. Some are attended by those in resplendent finery, others come in casual wear, with their kids in their best holiday jammies. There are an amazing number of approaches possible.
This reminds me of one of my all time favorite stories. As many of you know, my partner BA taught elementary school general music for many years. She also taught a lot of music teachers how to teach music during the summers. In her summer courses, there were a variety of participants, including teachers from private religious schools or churches with active music programs. This story comes from a church related program.
This group decided to have the children write their own nativity play, complete with songs and dialog. As you might imagine, a child’s take on events shakes up one’s expectations. A fine lullaby in the manger was created, sung by the animals “Baa, Mooo, Neigh”. Has a ring to it, doesn’t it.
And then, the best line of all, spoken by Joseph: Wake up, Mary! Our baby’s been born. Now, I haven’t personally given birth, but I’ve delivered a lot of babies over the years, and I’m pretty sure that there weren’t a lot of epidurals two thousand years ago. The odds of Mary sleeping through the delivery are slim at best. The innocence of the line is amusing, and Wake Up, Mary has been a favorite tagline around our house for many years.
Whether or not you are religious at all, the main message of all these Solstice celebrations is light in the darkness (which fits if you live in the northern hemisphere). The birth of hope, and love and peace for all. May there be more of this in all of our lives this coming year.