Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Baby Jesus: a Cantata Necessity!

Connor as Baby JesusSo... I would be remiss if I didn't mention our Christmas Cantata on December 12th, 2011.  Many many thanks go to all the singers, band members, dancers, narrators, sound techs, computer techs and all other support givers that participate when the director of a choir decides to roll out a cantata.  The man-hours given are countless (and priceless.)  I'm always amazed at the sterling attitudes and united teamwork that surrounds our cantata here at First United Methodist Church.  When I asked my husband what he thought he said, "The choir was so loud and enthusiastic, your hair was blown back by the sound of it!"  I didn't think it was quite that loud but it was that enthusiastic!  And boy, WAS IT FUN!!!!

This year, as in other years, I asked members of the church to be Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus.  I dug out the stored costumes that were hand sewn by a member of the church and assigned them to our cast of characters.   I unearthed the strips of muslin to drape over Baby Jesus and the long dresses for the men and plenty of shawls to hang here and there.  I even have an armful of scratchy gunny sacks to drape in and around the manger.  The final touch is the string of gold lights that lay hidden in the manger for a special effect.

Starting about June, I keep my ears open for the arrival of a new baby to play Baby Jesus in December.  It does not matter if the baby is a boy or girl, gender is not an issue.  We especially like quiet babies that perhaps coo on cue during the narrations.  Pacifiers have been know to appear if needed.  Smiling and willing parents are an added bonus.  They make fine Marys and Josephs and are handy for 'blow-outs,' if you know what I mean.  In fact, the whole Mary, Joseph and Jesus thing is so successful, I think the entire choir could stand on their heads and the attention would still be on our Baby Jesus, no matter what!

It's odd but when I see one of the children cast as Baby Jesus around church or around town, I'm reminded of when they were Jesus in the cantata.  In fact, I call out to them, "Hey Jesus!  How are You doing?" or "You were such a fine Jesus!"  I'm not worshiping them, I'm just reminded of what they did for me.  (Can you imagine their expressions as they turn ten years old and I'm still called them Jesus?  That will make them stop and think...)

When I needed a Jesus, they were Jesus.... Hum....

This leads me to a question:  What could I do that would remind others of Jesus?  Obviously, donning strips of muslin is not what I have in mind.  When someone needs Jesus, I should be able to step in and play the part for some things, at least.  I should be trained to look and act like Him, to be His representative, to follow His example, to be compassionate and loving, kind and gentle and giving...

This is starting to sound like a New Year's resolution...

Eliza was also a splendid Baby Jesus, especially in costume!

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