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 Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11
This past weekend, I saw the play “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” with my granddaughters. It is the story of the Herdman kids, the worst hooligans in the neighborhood. They terrorize the other children by stealing lunches, starting fights and being down right mean. They are known for smoking cigars, “even the girls”.
When the annual church Christmas pageant is announced, guess who shows up, the Herdmans. Their reputation has preceded them. The Herdmans do not “act” or “look” like they belong in church. None of the other children what to be in the pageant with them. The children are not the only ones who do not like the idea of the Herdmans participating. The adults are also dubious of their attendance. The director of the pageant is criticized for allowing the Herdmans to be in the pageant.
As the story continues, we learn the Herdmans had never heard the Christmas message. As a matter of fact, the original reason they went to church was to get all the “good snacks”. The director patiently answers their questions and explains the Christmas story.
In the final act, the Christmas pageant takes place. Each one of the six Herdman children is in the pageant. Each one performs his or her part, more or less, according to the script. When “Mary” holds the babe, she wipes tears away from her eyes. The Christmas message touched her heart. The church people were also touched by the transformation of the Herdman children and the change in their own hearts as they proclaimed this to be, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”.
On the way home, we talked about the play. My seven year old granddaughter had lots of questions. A sampling of her questions: Was this a fiction or non-fiction? Why did the Herdmans act the way they did? Why did the other children not like them? I answered her questions; she was quiet for a few moments. Then she said, “You know Mimi sometimes I act like the Herdmans.” I didn’t say anything, then the next question came, “Mimi did you ever act like the Herdmans?” Yes, I have.
I was touched by my granddaughter’s admission and honesty. As I thought on this I have to admit, there have been many times that I acted like the Herdmans, but praise God He has forgiven me.
Lord, help me to be kind, compassionate and friendly to the “Herdmans” who cross my path.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson is a quick read for the Christmas Season.
Have a blessed day,