Right up there with American Idol, Mrs. Snapper adores Dancing with the Stars. During confirmation she insisted that the show provided the perfect illustration for how God’s grace worked in our lives. We poor humans were the bumbling celebrities, rendered unworthy under the eyes of the disappointed judges. Jesus was a professional dancer, both providing a model for appropriate living and actively grabbing hold of us and dancing us into salvation. Pastor Basil found out and nixed Mrs. Snapper’s “dancing with the saints” curriculum in the fifth season.
The thing is, Dancing with the Stars always has a bunch of rehearsal montages where the celebrities are seen practicing their dance moves, working with their partners, and trying different strategies to get a handle on dancing as opposed to acting, singing, sports, or whatever it is they do in real life. So you might think that rehearsal for the Christmas Pageant involved similar non-stop activity. Nope. Most of rehearsal consisted of sitting around while Pastor Basil, Mrs. Snapper, and Mr. Skink argued about what we were all supposed to do.
The constant sitting and waiting did give me a chance to give Jealous Plant regular pep talks. Jealous Plant should have been having the time of his life. He was a favorite among the spiders who loved to spin webs between his vines. The tropical house geckos felt safe with him and hid in his pot whenever the stage fright got to be too much. Even Sybil the Python took a fancy to him and dragged him around the sanctuary when she wasn’t onstage.
But Jealous Plant continued to have sulking spells. His leaves would get droopy, his vines would hang limp from his pot, and he’d go sit by the wooden nativity set already arranged near the entrance to the sanctuary. I’d find him examining each of the pieces, the sheep, the angels, Mary and Joseph, and the rest.
To cheer him up and hopefully ease his jealousy, I’d talk about how he was like the different Christmas story characters.
“Jealous Plant” I’d say “You’re like the angel, a terrifying agent of God.” or “Jealous Plant, you remind me of a shepherd, keeping all of those geckos together.” That seemed to cheer him up for a bit, but by the end of each rehearsal he’d always be droopy again.
Pastor Basil had little insight to offer on the matter. “He just gets like that around Christmas” she shrugged. “I think he’s jealous of all the trees.”
To Be continued
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit[a] of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
How does Mrs. Snapper’s Dancing with the Stars metaphor line up with what Paul teaches us about Jesus? Can you think of another way to describe how God intervenes in our lives through the life of Jesus Christ? When have you ever felt judged and how did that situation resolve?
A reading of Chapter 16 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.