Timeless Stories of Laughter During Advent
It was the fourth Sunday in Advent, and our Christian Education team wanted to do something a little “different” for the children’s sermon. After all, the children were restless, Christmas was just around the corner, and it certainly seemed like a good opportunity to be creative and interactive. And so it was on that fateful Sunday morning that Miss Kathy pulled out a bag of animal puppets and told the children that they would be helping her recreate the scene at the stable where Jesus was born.
Except for Michael. Mischievous Michael, mysterious Michael, malcontent Michael; shrewd, clever and crafty Michael! Michael reached deep into the bag and discovered something that Miss Kathy had missed. Michael reached inside and found…
… a wolf puppet.
Let us say that there was no reenactment of the Peaceable Kingdom that day. The wolf did not lie down with the lamb. No cattle were lowing, and if the poor babe had been asleep, he would most certainly have been awake by the end of that particular children’s sermon! It is safe to say that, between the shrieking children and the laughing adults, there was not a dry eye in the house.
I love Advent and Christmas. I love the beauty of the sanctuary, lighted with candles and decorated with greens. I love shopping, and baking cookies, and thinking of friends and family, far and near. I marvel at the generosity of those who share Gifts for Life with their loved ones (alas, no wolves this year, but there some pretty adorable goats and pigs!). But in my house, the stories that we tell at Christmas – the stories that make us laugh until we cry, no matter how often they are told – are the stories of when everything went wrong. When the wolf ate the lambs during the children’s sermon. When the cotton ball-covered sheep left a trail of white cotton down the new red runner in the sanctuary. When we forgot where we hid the Christmas gifts “for safekeeping.” When the dog ate the plastic sheep in the manger. When we were utterly, amazingly, imperfectly human.
I wish for you and your loved ones moments of great peace and comfort during the coming weeks. But more than that, I wish you great moments of laughter and riotous imperfection. Joy to the World!!
Images: Top, A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). Middle 1, Dog Nativity scene (justonemorepet.wordpress.com). Middle 2, A Christmas Story (1983). Bottom, Nation Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989).
Healing the world starts with your story!
During the 75th Anniversary Celebration, we are sharing 75 stories over 75 weeks – illustrating how lives are transformed through the shared abundance of our partners and friends like you! We invite you to join us in inspiring our vibrant community by sharing your own story!