The Manger Scene

Like you’ve never pictured it in your mind before

Everyone knows the traditional Christmas story. A census. Joseph and Mary. Travel to Bethlehem. No room at the inn. Sleeping in a stable. Born and placed in a manger where the animals fed. Wise men from the East. Shepherds. Angels. Star over Bethlehem. King Herod. And of course, Baby Jesus Himself.

When Miss Kara at Hope Baptist wanted to put on an impromptu Nativity Scene in her Sunday School class for six-year-olds, the scene moved from quaint to pandemonium within seconds of her asking for volunteers to be Joseph and Mary.

She called for an actor to play Baby Jesus and two hands raised. Recall in the Nativity Story, baby Jesus really doesn’t have a large speaking role. But that didn’t matter because these two kids were going to fight over who got to lay across the makeshift cradle of two small chairs with a tattered old throw blanket using for swaddling clothes.

About all Miss Kara could do for the skit was to push the volunteers in the general direction of their parts. The kids, using their memories from one or two Christmases past, had the Wise Men revealing the birth location with GPS tracking in His diaper, and the shepherds wondering what they were going to eat when they arrived at the manger scene. When Miss Kara reminded them that they were headed to Bethlehem to find the baby, they said they’d route the best path based on their parents’ camel traffic app.

King Herod was another doozy of a kid actor. For Miss Kara’s class, King Herod actually followed the Wise Men step by step to the manger because they were fairly open about their loyalties to their stomachs. Herod slipped the Wise Men 30 silver coins for their efforts. Okay, so they got their stories mixed up a bit. Miss Kara would have to work on that next year.

And we won’t even go into how the angels used simple English to describe the location of baby Jesus, “He’s over there next to the fake kitchen and the gross slobbering cows.”

In the end, though, Jesus was born, the wise men and shepherds went their separate ways, and Mary treasured all these events in her heart.

Except maybe the 30 pieces of silver and the hungry shepherd boys. Mary’s trying to forget that part.


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