“What!?” Mrs. Snapper had been listening in on the conversation and came marching over to Pastor Basil and Mr. Skink. “A tarantula cannot play baby Jesus! Baby Jesus does not have eight legs!”
“Or eight eyes, for that matter,” I added helpfully.
“But we currently don’t have any infants in the congregation, Mrs. Snapper” pointed out Pastor Basil, “and we can’t have a Christmas Pageant without a baby Jesus, he’s kind of the point.”
“We can use a doll” argued Mrs. Snapper.
“While I do admit that baby Jesus did not have eight legs, or at least the Gospel of Luke doesn’t mention any extra appendages, need I remind you that neither does the gospel mention Jesus being plastic? The Gospel of John is quite clear that ‘the word became flesh.’”
At this point, Mr. Skink had had enough. He straightened his eyepatch, squared his shoulders and said “well, I appreciate the invitation, but I and my ’family,’ as you say, have no interest in being part of this Christmas Pageant, we’d prefer to be left alone in the future.” He gave me a hard look and then turned to leave.
“But Mr. Skink,” said Pastor Basil “have you consulted your family on this matter? It looks to me as if that tarantula is quite eager to participate.”
The tarantula had indeed climbed out from underneath Mr. Skink’s collar and was waving its legs with what appeared to be enthusiasm.
“What is it Helen?” Mr. Skink stretched out his arm and let the tarantula walk her way down to his hand. He held her up near his face and the two began to have a heated conversation consisting of a whole lot of whispering on the part of Mr. Skink and arm waving on the part of Helen. This went on to the point of all of us beginning to feel rather awkward.
“Mr Skink, if I may?” Pastor Basil extended her hand and we all watched in shock as Helen climbed up her arm, frantically waving her hairy tarantula legs. “Helen, would you like to play the baby Jesus? Hold up three legs for yes, two for no.”
Helen immediately stuck three legs up into the air.
“Well, there you have it, at least one member of your household wants to be involved. Now, how about I accompany you to your home and we can see how everyone else feels?” Pastor Basil offered with a bright smile.
To Be Continued
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
In Jesus God’s Word becomes flesh and literally “pitches his tent among us.” Even today, we encounter Jesus in our relationships with one another. Pastor Basil takes this one step further both in assigning the role of baby Jesus to Helen the tarantula and in the way she treats Helen as someone whose needs and desires matter. Is Pastor Basil’s behavior right? Why does her casting of Helen the tarantula bother Mrs. Snapper so much? When have you encountered God in unexpected ways?
Chapter 8 as read 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.
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Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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Christ the King Lutheran Church
600 S. M 18
Gladwin, Mi. 48624
Pastor Emily Olsen