Sunday, December 23, 2012

Boys in Bathrobes

Yes, this morning in church there were three young boys dressed in bathrobes.  They also had towels wrapped around their heads.  You see, it was scheduled that the little kids would do their twenty minute Christmas cantata, and these mini shepherds were in full costume, ready for the grand event.

Today's little program released a multitude of fond memories of many similar Christmas pageants I have attended over the years in which my children had parts.

I remember the year I sewed about a dozen white angel costumes with the obligatory gold sparkly crowns constructed out of pipe cleaners.  It was a lot of work for about a 12 second appearance, but those angels certainly had important business.

I recall the year daughter Lindsay played the part of Mary.  Funny thing - her costume resembled a bathrobe too, as I recall.  She made very sure the baby Jesus doll was carefully contained under there, and then emerged at exactly the right time, as the heavenly hosts were chaotically running around the stage area  singing their praises.

Oh yeah, there was one year I sat freezing my tush in a stinky, musty, old barn.   Son Caleb was playing his trumpet at one of those live nativity scenes.  Shepherds were outside of the barn sitting around a fire and tending their sheep while the miraculous birth occurred inside.  Plenty of bathrobes were involved there, too.

I guess it is an age-old story that is possibly best brought to life by the youngest of Christ's followers.  All across the land, the birth of Jesus will be celebrated by these little shepherds wearing oversized bathrobes, towels on their heads, and carrying staffs that are way too big for them.

Mary will be wearing a blue robe most likely, and taking the business of swaddling and unswaddling and re-swaddling the baby Jesus doll very seriously.  In one program I attended, it was remarkable how much her donkey resembled a golden retriever.

The one Wise Man from the east will be waving to Mom, who is snapping pictures with her cell phone from the first pew.

The lamb from the three-year-old class will be wandering around the creche uncontrollably.  Frequently  he will wander over and tell his mother in the front row that he "really can't hold it anymore."

Joseph, dressed in a drab brown bathrobe, will have the distinct appearance that he would rather be anywhere but on stage.  As he repeatedly pushes his glasses back up his nose, we see the sparkle of orthodontics.

Centuries ago the prophet Isaiah described the righteous kingdom Jesus will one day establish, saying "a little child will lead" - and continuing to this day, it would seem to me that children are still leading us all to the manger.

Hopefully, bathrobes will never go out of style.

1 comment:

  1. You sure did bring back some very old memories for me. Thank you and have a blessed Christmas.