Eryn informed me the other day that she wanted to do a play. With 12 children in one family, you have a ready ensemble to join your acting crew! So, considering what theatrical act should be brought forth, we decided “tis the season” so of course, the Christmas story was what we decided we must put forth. We quickly got a piece of paper and a pencil and decided who would play what role. No part was too small, from the donkey that Mary would ride to the Angel that brought the good news to the shepherds in the field.
After we decided who would play each part, of course costumes were to follow. Living in the “backwoods” of Uganda, we don’t have a Dollar Tree or a Wal-mart down the road to purchase the supplies for costumes so we did what every self respecting missionary will do. We made our costumes with what we had and over the course of 3 days everything started coming together. The manger was a water box, colored with yellow marker and filled with blankets. The staffs for the shepherd and Joseph were Papaya branches. The donkey ears were brown construction paper and head bands. Each thing was selected, put together and each child was thrilled with their “props” for the play.
Our “guests” were of course Zane and Summer, Joyce (the mother of Patience who made an appearance as one of the “wise” men) and Paul a man who is helping Zane in the minister here in Northern Uganda. I was awarded the much coveted position of Stage Manager :) A sheet was placed over the doorway so that our audience couldn’t see backstage. The “sheep” Enoch and Eston had their faces painted, the wise men were given their crowns, the shepherd his head wrapping, Joseph and Mary their outfits, the donkey’s their ears and the angel her wings. It was all coming together.
Eryn sat in her seat as the Narrator of the story, opened her script to the book of Luke and began to read of Mary, a simple Jewish virgin who was selected for her devotion to the Lord and her desire to serve Him, to bring into the world the Son of God who would save us from our sinfulness by the sinLESSness of His life.
The stage was set, the animals waiting in the stable (drawn courtesy of Summer). The curtain parted and out walks Joseph on His was to Bethlehem leading a donkey with Mary riding on his back. The walk imaginary door to imaginary door “knock knock is there any room?”. At each they are turned away. Finally they are told there is no room anywhere in Bethlehem, except in a stable.
So there in a stable, baby Jesus is born. Then in a nearby corner :) an Angel appears to our shepherd and his two sheep to declare “I bring you GOOD NEWS! A Savior is born in Bethlehem!”. “LETS GO!!!” declares our shepherd to his sheep and they take the long journey across the room to the small stable to see the Son of God.
Then, tired from their long journey, the wise men (and woman) appear with their faithful donkey (Elyssa didn’t want to be a camel :) and they fall on their faces before the babe and offer up their gifts.
All then rise, turn and Eryn wraps up the story with the simple statement “Jesus grew up in Bethlehem, growing strong and wise in God’s love.” Then they all sang “Away in a Manger” for us and took their bow...
The reason for the season, contrary to the popular belief of it being presents, is to remember that stable and the fact that Jesus came to this earth as a babe to save us all from our sinfulness.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!
*pictures to follow