It's that time of year... the time when churches all over the world decide to act out the birth of Christ. The churches we have been in have been no exception. Have you ever been a part of a church pagent? If so, do you have any funny stories about it?
Here are two from my experiences ...
For years I was Mary in the yearly church Christmas program until I got too old and had to hang up my sandals. Now, as you might expect, I was not your typical Mary. Instead of walking down the aisle and placing a doll wrapped in a blanket in the manger and then sitting and watching it like a statue, I walked down with a real baby, held it, cooed at it, talked to it, rocked it, let it play havoc with my headpiece, and did all the things that new mammas do. I've never been able to imagine Mary, or any other new mother, laying her baby on some dirty old bed of hay. I remember bringing my firstborn home from the hospital and sitting for a solid 4 hours just looking at him and being completely and throughly content. I suspect that Mary did much the same.
In any case, Brian always played Joseph along with me. One year we took our places complete with the 100 voice choir behind us and all the shepherds and wisemen present. At one point as I was holding baby Jesus, I looked over at Joseph and noticed that he seemed to be sitting funny. It was like he was leaning a bit too far in one direction as if he were about to fall over. I quietly caught his attention and whispered "Joseph, sit up straight". He misunderstood me and thought I was cueing him to stand up. He stood. Soon all the shephereds thinking that they were supposed to stand, also stood. Then the wisemen stood. Then the audience, thinking it was a "moment" where they were supposed to stand, also stood. I fought not to laugh at how one simple little misunderstanding can have such an effect. No harm was done though.... and after a while everyone sat back down.
The other time was when we were in Alabama at a small church. It was Easter and someone had the brilliant idea that we should reenact the last supper. Naturally, Brian played Jesus. Because our church was small and we didn't have enough men to play all of the disciples, I was a disciple. Brian (Jesus) sat at the table facing the audience and I sat on the opposite side. Halfway though the production I happened to look down and realized that Jesus had not worn a pair of shorts underneath his robe and not being used to wearing a dress, had his legs sprawled and was flashing the audience! At that point this disciple leaned across to Jesus and quietly told him to keep his legs together because he was showing his congregation a side of the pastor they did not care to see.