I know. I cheated.
Today is SUPPOSED to be cell phone picture of the week.
But I DIDN’T get a picture of the little Christmas pageant the Reed great-grandchildren put on last night and I’m TOTALLY bummed about it. If any of my family DID happen to take one (on their phone), please send it to my phone and I can post it post-publish.
So I was a little bit frustrated yesterday. My grandma had asked me to be in charge of this pageant with my sister and a couple of my cousins. I, of course, mostly forgot about it.
I blame work and finals.
A few days before the party, I figured that I should get a hold of my cousin for help. Well, as a surprise to no one in my family, I couldn’t really get a hold of anybody who was initially “assigned” by my grandma. Thankfully, my parents and Tracy stepped in. Annie even helped me plan a little bit of it on the phone the day of. So my parents scrounged up costumes while I was trying to get out of work by six last night. (The party started at 6:30 and I wasn’t on time.)
After work, I put together a little script for our pageant. I think it worked out okay in the end. I didn’t really hear the narrators (my dad and Annie), but I’m sure they did a fabulous job. I was herding children up on the stage.
One of the highlights was the little 2-3 year old cousin who dressed as a sheep. She wandered around the stage in an inside-out men’s coat bleating. The shepherds were too busy looking at the baby Jesus to use their pool cues to herd the little lamb back into the manger.
Since I didn’t get a picture, here, instead, is the script. I know it’s long. Read it anyway. It’s Christmas. Try and use your imagination to picture a bunch of adorable, rowdy kids being really reverent dressed up as Joseph, Mary, angels, shepherds and wise men.
During this season, we prepare, like the people of Israel did, for the arrival of the King. A King is coming, but he is not the kind of king that people thought was coming. This King had no army, no castle, and no riches. This King was a baby who was born in a manger.
This time of year, you will see people hurrying in the malls and running to parties, but they might miss the meaning of Christmas. They don’t know how to get ready for it, or maybe they just forgot.
But we can remember. And today, we remember by reading the words of the prophets, about Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, and the baby Jesus.
Can you imagine what Mary might have felt when she heard that the Messiah, promised long long ago by the prophets, was going to be born soon… and that she would be his mother?
Luke 1:26-35; 37-38
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women… Fear not, Mary: for thou has found favour with God.
And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
A decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. The Roman Empire was vast in those days, covering Britain to Spain, Portugal, into Africa, Egypt and Jerusalem. Rome needed more money and Caesar ordered that the people pay so Joseph, who was of the house and lineage of David, followed his government, taking Mary with him to Bethlehem. Caesar thought he knew what he was doing. He had never heard of Bethlehem, or of the Hebrew Prophet Micah, who wrote, “For out of you Bethlehem… shall come one who is to be ruler in Israel… he shall be peace.”
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger: because there was no room for them in the inn.
There were shepherds tending their sheep in the fields around Bethlehem when they were startled by the chorus of angels singing to them. In their song, they told them not to be afraid, that they were bringing tidings of great joy. A child is born. Run to Bethlehem to see him.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
Some people call them the three kings, others call them the Magi, and others call them the wise men. They came from far in the East, following a star in the sky that hadn’t been there before. They followed the star all the way to Bethlehem, but they came from so far away that they got there after the baby was born. Like us, they too are on the way to Bethlehem to see the Christ child, even if it takes us a long time.
Matthew 2:1-2, 9-
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
…and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, til it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Today, we know that the birth of Jesus in that little town of Bethlehem was, is, and always will be more important than all the Caesars, all the kings, all the presidents who ever ruled. In Bethlehem’s dark streets, there appeared an everlasting light. It shines for us still.
President Monson said, “When we have the spirit of Christmas, we remember Him whose birth we commemorate at this season of the year. We contemplate that first Christmas day, foretold by the prophets of old. You, with me, recall the words from Isaiah: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” –meaning God with us.
“Times change; years speed by; but Christmas continues sacred.
“If we are to have the very best Christmas ever, we must listen for the sound of sandaled feet. We must reach out for the Carpenter’s hand. With every step we take in His footsteps, we abandon a doubt and gain a truth.”