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Snowy weather not needed to make Christmas come alive

December 24, 2015
Westfield Republican

Lately, all across the eastern half of the country there have been grumbles and groans of "It just doesn't FEEL like Christmas."

With no snow banks, no icy roads, no frosty breezes, folks have had a hard time getting into the holiday mood without the traditional signs of the season.

But, in spite of Mother Nature's mixed messages, last week, here in sunny Florida, I found Christmas.

Inside our warm and welcoming church, our congregation celebrated the birth of the Christ Child by re-telling the age-old story in a pageant called "Christmas Comes Alive."

Some two dozen members took part in the event. Heading the cast, of course, were Joseph and Mary (along with a borrowed and very cooperative one-month-old baby). Also participating were the shepherds (including son Tim, the tallest shepherd), King Herod, the Wise Men, the Inn people, a trio of heavenly angels and the couple serving as narrators of the well-known story.

Dressed in period costumes, the actors moved through their parts while the narrators read the beloved tale of the birth from the Bible and other sources.

Plywood "cut out" animals - a camel, a donkey and a pair of sheep - waited patiently around the rustic stable stall.

Mary and Joseph, tired from their long journey, found no room at the inn. But, since Mary's time had come, they took shelter in the stable. And, it was there the Christ Child was born.

The shepherds in the fields, the angels heralding the birth, the star in the east, the wise men seeking the baby king.they were all here.

But there were many items the world associates with Christmas that were not here. There were no ribbon-wrapped gifts, no red nosed reindeer, no electric toys, no jolly red-suited gentlemen.

Instead, inside the beautifully decorated church the light filtering through the stained glass windows joined the warmth of the candle glow.

And above the action hung the magnificent star, guiding the way to the sleeping baby boy.

The only gifts were the treasures brought by the wise men to the baby Jesus: gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Throughout the program, the congregation sang the familiar carols of old: "Joy to the World," "We Three Kings," "Silent Night."

When the program ended, the joy of Christmas once again filled every heart. And, as we joined hands and sang the old spiritual, "Go Tell it on the Mountain," I knew that everyone gathered had, at last, found Christmas.



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