"Each night a child is born is a holy night." -Sofia Fahs
A church member told me that they recently woke from a dream, and had the 'aha moment' that the actual birth of Christ WAS basically a nativity in a box: A loose plan, mostly on the fly. Try to get a room at the inn, and when that doesn't go as planned, improvise and go to a stable. I laughed and agreed! The wise men didn't have directors' notes. In the darkness, they followed what they learned in a dream, and an extraordinarily bright star. They all did their best that night.
RE will once again be doing our version of Nativity in a Trunk on Sunday, December 16. Some parts scripted, some improvised, with Jesus' birth as the focus. We also "invite" the world's Great Teachers into the meeting house. All five major religions are represented. Many of us find the peek-ins from the Great Teachers to be nothing more than symbolic nods. We acknowledge the "light" of Hanukkah and Solstice. Perhaps The Winds carry the prophetic voices. We nod to the seven candles of Kwanza, also bringing light to these days and symbolizing its seven principles. The children learn that the Great Teachers who appear in our Nativity come from different places in the world and in (mostly) different times. The Nativity in a Trunk is NOT their only lifetime learning of the story. They will have exposure to the Nativity from the Bible, RE conversation, wider culture, and from their families.
The children enjoy being promoted through roles, of the same script, over the years. ALL are invited to take part and so many do. In fact, ALL do. "Being an audience member" is a role too, you know! We are fluid, flexible, and follow our north star. A bit of noise and bit of extra energy are to be expected, from all ages. Be patient. Be kind. Sing along. Join in. Enjoy the moment of once again revisiting the birth of Jesus Christ: a baby born in a manger when no one else would make room. Who in that inn could have predicted that the baby would grow to be among the Great Teachers and his greatest teachings would be that of love? The story, the SAME story, of the nativity has been taught for generations over hundreds and thousands of years. We will do our best.
Gabe Millins, DRE
Director of Religious Education