Our little Episcopal church
Has a Christmas pageant every year
Featuring members of the Sunday school
Costumed as the nativity characters.
This being a pageant,
They do not speak.
Instead a narrator reads
The gospel story according to Luke.
The church is filled
With a capacity crowd of 200.
Many young families attend
Whom we have not seen before.
Everyone oohs and aahs
As the participants troop down the aisle.
Mary is often a head taller than Joseph;
The cute little angels steal the show.
A communion service followed
The pageant this past Christmas Eve
Which was a mystery to some in the pews
Who did not understand what was happening.
At one point in the service
People turn to shake hands
With all around, saying,
"The peace of the Lord be with you."
When I turned to face
The family standing behind me,
I shook hands with a little fellow
Who was licking a candy cane.
His hands were sticky, of course,
But I decided to grin and bear it.
Then I heard him ask his father,
"Where are the Easter eggs?"
There, my friends, is a great mystery.
Why did the parents bring him,
When his only church experience
Will be Christmas and Easter?
Are the parents themselves
Nostalgic for childhood holiday events?
Do they feel that showing up twice yearly
Will suffice for including God in their lives?
We are to judge not, saith the bible.
Yet if we could reach such families,
The church would be filled each Sunday
And the children would hear the Good News.
- ► 2014 (8)