By David Brock, Redmond, Oregon, USA
Such a mess at the manger in my home congregation this past Sunday!
It all began in quiet and calm and with such decorum. Joseph presiding, Mary kneeling, Jesus asleep. Later, a few angels placed at the idyllic scene. Beautiful!
Then, things started to get a little noisy and unbalanced as members of the congregation brought animals to join the parents and the angels. The usual four-leggeds first: donkeys, sheep, a few cows.
Then somebody opened the gates, and up came elephants from Africa and India, warthogs, goats, a rubber ducky, a whale (yes, a whale!), a pig (yes, a pig!), a kneeling giraffe, dogs, cats, and a bobble-headed turtle riding on the back of the donkey. Finally, the dinosaurs came trudging in from a past still being uncovered.
Things returned to some semblance of normalcy when shepherds found their place, though some seemed to be protecting cows from dinosaurs, or herding warthogs. Then wise men and camels approached and found their appointed space. But, things began to get a little uncomfortable again when a teen added Gandalf, pronouncing him “The Other Wiseman.”
After that, those who desired a “proper” Nativity just shook their heads and gave up.
As the masses were invited to come and see the Child, all rules and any restrictions or regulations were ignored: A baseball player bobble-head was given place, characters both good and bad from Lord of the Rings, a snowman, Santa (yes, Santa!), matchbox race cars, and a fireman—all crowded together, trying to get as close as they could.
Just before the crafts and the cookies and more carols, we all made our way to Bethlehem, right there in Bend, Oregon, USA, on a Sunday morning of Advent.
Sacrilege? I doubt it.
Messy, chaotic, and a little undignified? Unquestionably.
Join the throng, if you dare. Stand on tiptoe if you must. No pushing, please.
There is room at this “inn.”
All are welcome. It’s Christmas!
Mission Stories. (2016). It’s Christmas. Retrieved from: http://www.cofchrist.org/mission-stories#/147/it’s-christmas