Archive for December 16th, 2009
I was going to make this post all about how disappointed I was w/ the Christmas dinner that my ward/congregation had done. I would have been more than willing to help but the first I knew of the dinner was an email I received Sunday night. I say “was” because even though the dinner was not a traditional one (pulled pork sandwhiches, southwester style baked beans, coleslaw & fritos) it was still a decent tasting dinner & I need to learn to be more humble.
The night started off w/ a program. The primary (ages 3 – 11) got up & sang Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains. After that a woman got up & started to read a bit about the women in Christ’s life when he was born. The curtains on the stage opened & we got to see some women sitting in stools w/ a manger placed in front of them. All of the women were dressed in long dresses w/ shawls covering their heads. The were all very beautiful & it actually took me a minute to remember who each person actually was. Anyway, the first woman got up & told us that she was Elisabeth. She was married for so long to Zacharias & they were not blessed to have children. She explained that after her child bearing days were over she felt so useless because she hadn’t had any children. And then she was blessed w/ a son who was to be named John. And that John would baptize the Lord of all. She also spoke about her young cousin Mary, coming to visit & how the child in her womb leapt about when Mary walked into the room.
In between all of the women the young women of our ward (ages 12 – 18) sang & sometimes we, the congregation would sing w/ them.
After she sat down we heard from the mother of Joseph. She spoke about how pleased her & her husband were in their son & in his choice of a bride. She also spoke of the pain & anguish they all felt when Mary told Joseph that she was pregnant. What a dark time it was for all of them but especially Joseph. How hard it was to find the shadows of despair in their home & in Joseph’s face. How everything changed when the messenger of the Lord came & told them who it was that Mary was carrying. The rejoicing & gratitude that they all felt & how Joseph’s burdens were immediately lifted.
Next we heard from Mary’s mother. About how beautiful, kind & loving her daughter was. How thrilled they were w/ the thought of Joseph as a husband for their daughter. How frightened they were when Mary told them what had happened & yet how over joyed they were to know that their grandson was the savior of the world. To know that the one who was waited for & longed for was coming & was going to be just theirs for a tiny bit.
The fourth woman was an innkeeper w/ her husband in a small town called Bethlehem. It was really quite a small town but when the decree went out for the people of David to come to Bethlehem to be counted & taxed the town grew & grew. It was hard to walk in the streets because there were so many people. She also spoke of seeing this young couple coming down the street. Both of them looked so exhausted but the young woman on the donkey was in the last stages of pregnancy & looked like she was in labor. The innkeeper knew that there were no rooms to be had & that this young couple needed privacy & warmth. The only place that she could think of was their stable. The hay was fresh & clean & it was warm & private. This would be the only privacy that was around.
The fifth woman turned out to be part of a sheep herding family. Her family all watched in amazement as the bright star in the sky grew & grew & as they heard heavenly hosts singing “Hosana” & other praises to the Lord. She also spoke of the joy & fear of having a heavenly messenger visit them & tell them about the birth of Jesus Christ. Then they all turned & started to follow the star because they needed to see the young babe.
Finally, a young woman started to talk. She spoke about her little tiny baby who would save the world from death. She spoke about the fear & awe she felt when the messenger of the Lord came to her. She also spoke of her deep & abiding love for this tiny babe who was in her arms. Then she sat down & started to rock her babe while she sang “Mary’s Lullaby” (this wasn’t the girl who sang but it’s the version that was sung).
The narrator came back out & read something else but to be quite honest I couldn’t quite hear her. By this time the place was packed & a little noisy. I was still very spiritually feed last night & came out w/ a renewed sense of what this time of year is all about for Christians.