Worse than having to “ride” Sybil the python was the whole being a mother to Baby Jesus played by Helen the tarantula. Though Helen had initially given me a bit of a shock, I soon discovered her to be quite friendly. Holding her was almost like cuddling a hamster, just one that had a few extra appendages and a poisonous bite. The only difficulty was the part of the story where Mary wraps the baby Jesus in swaddling cloths.
It all has to do with ratios. The ratio for swaddling a baby is 2:4, two hands versus the baby’s four limbs. If the baby is on the mellow side or plastic that ratio works. If the baby is a kicker, all bets are off and a backstage parent might need to intervene. Ok, fine, it happens. BUT, with a tarantula that ratio is 2:8 and Helen was a wiggler. To make matters worse, Mr. Skink as Joseph refused to be of any help whatsoever.
“It says here that Mary wrapped the baby, not Joseph” he pointed out thumbing through one of the pew Bibles.
“But I need an extra set of arms!” I complained as Helen wriggled out of her swaddling clothes.
“CUT” yelled Mrs. Snapper “too slow! Mary, you need to up your swaddling game.”
To Be Continued
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
Mr. Skink is right that Mary is described as the one giving birth to Jesus, wrapping him in swaddling clothes, and placing him in the manger. However, it’s unrealistic to think of Mary doing all of these things by herself. The narrator describes how the pageant performance relies not just on the actors but potentially backstage parents ready to assist even if they are not actually part of the story. Who might be “backstage” in the story of Jesus’ birth? Who, though not included in Luke’s telling, might have been present alongside Mary and Joseph? Who are the people who are “backstage” in your own life? Who are the people who are always ready to help, but not always given credit or noticed?
A reading of Chapter 18 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.