Now when the teacher, Miss Thelma, told us we were going to do the play, I secretly hoped I’d get to be the angel. I didn’t bother to volunteer because Miss Thelma chose the perfect actor for each part. (Or so she said.) We didn’t try out.
When Miss Thelma announced the parts, our angel actor was, naturally, a pretty blond girl. A dark headed girl was chosen to be Mary. And that was pretty much all the female parts in the play.
Except when the whole bunch of angels came on stage and sang. Everyone else was in the chorus.
Then she announced that I would be the narrator. *Gulp!* (Today, you might call me the voice-over.) Since I stood at the podium so I would have the use of a microphone, I could have read the passage, but Miss Thelma wanted me to memorize it. She’d even typed a paper with the scriptures I was to know.
Of course, they were straight out of the King James Bible.
Luke 2 King James Version (KJV)
2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
I don’t remember memorizing verse 2. I guess Miss Thelma didn’t think it was necessary for the story. 🙂
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
If I remember right, there were only three shepherds in our story.
Next, we apparently skipped to Matthew 2 for the wise men.
2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
And verse 10
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Of course, we only had 3 wise men, because while the wise men entered, the kids in the chorus sang, “We Three Kings.”
Can I still quote the story? Uuuuuh, no. I can say part of it, but not the entire thing. But when someone else reads it, I follow along in my mind.
Kids today are missing a lot by not getting to do the true Christmas Story in school. I guess that means their parents (grandparents and aunts and Sunday School teachers, next door neighbors or lady down the street) are responsible for getting the truth to them.
And maybe that’s a better way, after all.
I’m no angel, but from me to you: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”