We never told Pastor Basil, but whenever Mrs. Snapper feels overwhelmed teaching Sunday School, she plays an episode of American Idol to give “us” a break. Right. American Idol is a reality competition show like no other, with drama both onstage and off. By the time Advent rolled around, we were already on the season two finale.
I say this because the Christmas Pageant auditions ended up being just as stressful as the high pressure performances put on by the American Idol contestants. And Simon, it turned out, had nothing on Mrs. Snapper when it came to brutally honest critiques.
True to his word, Mr. Skink showed up the following afternoon with a truck bed full of willing snakes, turtles, lizards and spiders. Even Pastor Basil seemed to be having second thoughts when a large rattlesnake slithered up the steps and into church.
“Your sign does say ‘all are welcome’” Mr. Skink remarked with a smirk.
“I am well aware, Mr. Skink, well aware” replied Pastor Basil as she joined Mrs. Snapper in getting the various creatures seated in the pews.
I sat next to Jealous Plant in the first pew, watching as Mrs. Snapper attempted to haul the eight-foot python up to the front, so that the snake could audition for the role of donkey. Jealous Plant didn’t seem as droopy as yesterday, but he was thinking about something, I could just tell. That plant was plotting.
I was still supposed to be playing Mary. Pastor Basil had insisted that Mary needed to be played by someone who could talk. I had argued that since I had been the one to invite Mr. Skink to join (ok, a bit of a stretch), I should have a role in directing.
Pastor Basil had agreed and said I could be both Mary and share the assistant director role with Jealous Plant. Neither I nor Jealous Plant were happy with this arrangement.
“Dim the lights!” yelled Mrs. Snapper. Someone fumbled with the light switches until only the space in front of the altar was illuminated. Jealous Plant and I leaned forward, eager to see just what the python would do in her audition for the role of donkey.
To Be Continued
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”
When Jesus made room for the children, his disciples learned how challenging welcoming others really is. As a church we say “all are welcome,” but do we really mean it? Who might we find difficult to welcome and what can we do to grow as a community that makes room for everyone? When have you had a difficult time including someone different than you?
a reading of chapter 10 by Amelia Corbett
About the Blog
Journey through the season of Advent with daily updates on the adventures of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Belliacre, MI as they attempt to cobble together a Christmas Pageant with an unlikely cast of characters.
Stephanie is an art educator and a landscape/portrait artist. Her inspirations come from the amazing people she meets and the gorgeous state of Michigan as well as her home state of Florida. She and he husband love nature. They are out in the water during the summer months and on the snow in the winter enjoying the simple pleasures of life.