Pastor Basil collapsed on the altar steps. I carefully climbed down from on top of the altar and sat beside her. I had never seen her look so tired and so very sad. I offered her a brownie, but she shook her head.
“Well,” I tried, “maybe we could-”
Pastor Basil interrupted me with a sigh. “No, don’t bother, whatever it is you think we should try. It’s no good. I-” she glanced around the sanctuary “I need to talk to Jealous Plant, where is he?”
“I’ll go find him.” I had an idea of where the plant might be hiding. Jealous Plant was pretty predictable. If we wasn’t looking at the nativity set, he would likely be in the columbarium.
As I headed out of the sanctuary, I realized that Jealous Plant could have prevented the current catastrophe. He had a calming effect on the geckos and they were less prone to stage fright when he was around. The chameleons loved Pastor Basil, but Jealous Plant was a close second. They turned practically neon to impress him. Even Harold the grumpy snapping turtle had a soft spot for Jealous Plant as did Sybil the python.
Sure enough, there was Jealous Plant sitting in the columbarium. It was getting into evening and flurries were already settling on his leaves. We didn’t have much time until the performance, not much at all.
“Jealous Plant,” I said “you are going to catch a cold out here. Come inside”
Jealous Plant didn’t move. Shivering, I sat beside him on the cold ground. And, as people tended to do around Jealous Plant, I began to talk. I told him about the absolute disaster of a dress rehearsal, how Harold had nearly bitten off my toes, and how the evening’s pageant was likely going to be an absolute bust.
“We were doing so well,” I explained, “but we’re just missing something and the longer we go without it, the worse it gets...and don’t start with the whole baby Jesus thing, Jealous Plant. Pastor Basil reminds us that Jesus is the reason for the season at every rehearsal.”
With a sigh, I picked Jealous Plant up and brought him back into the sanctuary, plonking him down next to Pastor Basil. The two sat there in the sanctuary, a bedraggled Pastor and her Jealous Plant against a nativity backdrop. Pathetic.
Maybe that’s the same thing the angels thought when they saw the shepherds huddling with their smelly sheep on a hillside long ago: pathetic. But, as Pastor Basil always pointed out, such pathetic people were the bearers of good news, they were given a role to play. Ok, so how could this equally pathetic pair be inspired to bear the good news in just a few hours’ time? If the shepherds were given a role to play, maybe they needed one too.
That was the answer. The story of Jesus didn’t make sense unless there were people, or plants, or other creatures to tell it.
“Yes now, come on, I have a plan, but we need to get ahold of the rest of the cast!”
To Be Continued
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
We talk a lot about Jesus being at the center of the Christmas experience. But, what about our role in sharing that story? What gets in the way of our own evangelism as individuals and as a community? How have you experienced sharing the story of Jesus?
A reading of Chapter 21 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.