Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wild Things Christmas

At my church I am part of a four-person team that leads a 9:15 family worship service called (with apologies to Maurice Sendak) "Where the Wild Things Worship." The other three members of the team are amazingly creative people, so it's a joy to work with them every week on this program. I made a list a few months ago of things in my life I would give up if I only had six months left to live versus things that I would keep on doing, and Where the Wild Things Worship got listed in the second category; it's that much fun. We do a lot with puppets, and I have come to realize that one of the great joys in life is dressing up puppets and making their voices.

Today we did a mini Christmas pageant in big people church. Our child worshippers/wild things are all very young and fairly shy, so we let the puppets do the embarrassing things like wear costumes, and all the children had to do was move them from one location to another, as grownups read aloud the familiar and beautiful story. The cast list for the production included Ruby the Jackrabbit as Mary, Dmitri the Deer as Joseph, Trevor the Turtle as Baby Jesus, and Chloe the Bobcat as the Angel. Although Ruby has always been my favorite of the puppets, I have to admit that Chloe stole the show, wearing wings and halo, and lowered from behind a banner on a guide wire at the crucial moment. Chloe actually made two appearances, first in a visitation to Mary to tell her of the forthcoming birth of Jesus, and then to the shepherds watching over their flocks. Oh, I think the congregation also especially liked the innkeeper, played by a huge alligator as large as the child who was handling him.

I hated having to take off Chloe's halo and wings at the end of the service, but I think she still has a holy aura to her. After this morning, we all do.

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