Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Programs are for Children!

I'm the director of our church's Sunday School progam, for children age 3 to sixth grade.  I support the teachers, order the materials, plan special events and collect offerings.  Part of my job is to organize and direct the annual Christmas show.  This year is my first year doing this particular job, but I love spending time with the kids.

One Sunday morning while running around and taking attendance, making sure everyone had words and music for the songs, and arranging times for practive, we seemed to be particularly stressed out.  The older children came and rehearsed their three songs and read through their parts.  Then the 3 and 4 year olds came out to sing their two songs.  They were going to sing "Away in a Manger" and "I Am Jesus' Little Lamb".  These songs are very familiar to us, but to these little ones, especially the three year olds, this was the first time they were hearing it.

We sang the first song through a couple of times, and I was thinking, hey, they're doing pretty well.  So we started the second song.  We sang it a couple of times, and I could tell enthusiasm was waning.  I took a minute to look at them, really look at them.  I saw glazed eyes and wiggly bodies.  I said "I think from looking at you, that you all have had just about enough singing.  Am I right?"  In their honest way, they said yes.  I said, "can you sing it one more time and then we'll be done?"  Yeah, home run!  They sang one more time with gusto!

I decided then and there that it didn't matter if they memorized both verses of both songs, because their parents and grandparents are going to think they're adorable regardless, and Jesus will not care as long as they love him.  Stress vanished!  Wow, things got easier from there, right??  Not exactly...

Dress rehearsal brought lots of challenges.  A couple of sick children needed to be replaced.  The fire alarm bell was too hard for the boy who was supposed to push the test button.  One of the bells got broken.  Everyone had a suggestion for improvement.  The kids weren't singing with the piano, some of them weren't singing at all!!  This had disaster written all over it.  But I had a feeling I shouldn't worry.

So I didn't.  Day of the program came, the kids were all dressed so beautifully, and there faces showed the pleasure they anticipated in telling the Christmas Story.  We processed in, we sang, we rang the bells, not always at the right time but close!  We processed out at the appropriate time, and as we were leaving I heard APPLAUSE!!

So remember, blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape!

If you're reading this and enjoy this story, please leave a comment.



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