I recently came across this story and wanted to share it with you:
St. Anne’s School was all a-buzz. It was time to start getting ready for the school’s Christmas Pageant. Tommy had been in the “Sunday School Christmas Sing” last year. Now that he was in “real” school, he was excited about getting to be in the “real” pageant.
He kept asking his mother, “Do you think they will let me be Joseph? I would like that. REALLY like that. Maybe I could be baby Jesus. I would just lay there and pretend I was asleep. You know I can do that good. Oh, Mama, it would be fun to be a tiny little lamb; standing so quietly looking at Baby Jesus.”
Tommy’s mother was really quite concerned, because the school was quite large and obviously not every child was going to get to be in the play. If he didn’t get a part, she was not sure how he would take it. She had tried to gently prepare him for the possible disappointment, but nothing she said could temper the excitement.
Finally the day came that the parts were awarded. Tommy’s mother went to pick him up after school with great trepidation. As she reached the front door of the school, Tommy rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement. “Guess what Mum,” he shouted, “I’ve been chosen to clap and cheer!” (Author unknown)
I love that boy’s enthusiasm. Like many of us, he had wanted to play a main role. There is something within us that hopes we would be the lead role in the play or hold an important position in the company. We want to be at the centre of attention, not hidden in the chorus. Sometimes, we are fearful that our life might be overlooked in some way, that we won’t be seen by others. It’s hard to simply be a part of the crowd, the ones who clap and cheer. We want to be centre stage; we want to be noticed.
When Jesus started his earthly ministry, he visited his cousin, John, in order to be baptized. Up until this point, John was the prophet that everyone was talking about. The crowds were flocking to him; he was at the centre of religious revival. But he knew that was going to change. When he saw Jesus coming, he simply said, “He must increase and I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
That’s a good verse for all of us to remember. Christmas helps us to focus on the saviour – not on ourselves. It isn’t about what we get or give. It’s not about being in the spotlight. The focus is on Jesus – we get to clap and cheer. So let’s make sure that Jesus is celebrated in all we do.