Last night Church Street hosted the annual Christmas Pageant. More than one hundred of people from both our church and our community gathered in Parish Hall for a meal and a very special telling of the Christmas story. Over dinner we sang carols and then those who wanted to participate in the pageant adjourned upstairs to fetch their costumes. It was a pageant unlike any other. Mary and Joseph came in, weary from their journey. Soon the shepherds were watching over the flocks and then a multitude (and I do mean a MULTITUDE!) of angels told them the good news. A baby had been born! We watched in wonder as the star appeared and came to rest over the stable where the baby lay. The same star guided wise men from the east to Bethlehem. Our manger scene was noisy and full of movement, just as the stable was long ago.
As I sat and watched the pageant last night I realized that it was the very heart of our mission here at Church Street. Sometimes sharing the good news doesn't mean shouting it from the rooftops. Sometimes offering the good news means sharing sandwiches while perched on folding chairs in the Parish Hall. It means watching the children of our church stand with children who are growing up in far different circumstances but deserve this story all the same. And as I watched these children experience the joy of the Christmas story I saw them realize this this was not Church Street's story, but their story as well.
To everyone who made made sandwiches and baked cookies for last night's event, thank you. For those of you who bought mittens and scarves and gloves, we thank you. Each member of the community in attendance last night was able to take what they needed to stay warm on the cold nights to come. But friends, it is the story of Christmas that we shared with them last night that will keep them far warmer than any gloves we can provide.
- Caroline Lamar