7. A Lesson Out of the Limelight


It was the role I had always wanted……at least so I thought.   Parts were being handed out for the annual Christmas pageant.  In the years previous I had played the part of a shepherd, the innkeeper, Joseph,  and on one unfortunate occasion, the donkey!  But I had never before been given the opportunity to be a wise man.  But this was my year!  I would be given that cherished responsibility.

In my 9 year old mind, the wise men had the “starring” role in this annual production.  They got to wear the coolest costumes (including real crowns), came on the scene lit by a spotlight from the very back of the church with great pomp and circumstance,  and reverently carried “treasures” to present to Mary, Joseph and the lightbulb under the blanket that served to depict baby Jesus.  Unless they tripped down the aisle,  it seemed the wise men stole the show every year.

The good news is, I didn’t trip!  I fulfilled my role with great dignity, much to the relief of my mother and father who were sitting in the audience.  But while the anticipation of experience was spectacular, the actual event was somewhat anticlimactic.   As a matter of fact, it was almost downright depressing.

Despite my expectations, I was not the “star” of the show.  In fact, I wasn’t any more the star of the show as a wise men than I had been as a shepherd, the innkeeper, Joseph, or even as the donkey.   I couldn’t believe it!  I looked great, I didn’t trip, and I delivered my treasure with all the solemnness a 9 year walking hormone could muster.   In a word, I was “flawless”.     But, I was not the star!

The “star” of the show wasn’t any of the kids who played parts of the Christmas story…..not even the angels.  I was never considered to play the part of an angel for obvious reasons!  The “star” of the show was Jesus……not the lightbulb…..the real Jesus!  The story wasn’t about what us kids were doing…..it was about what God did on that first Christmas morning.

The Christmas season is filled with all sorts of noise……enough noise sometimes to drown out the real meaning of the season.  Sometimes like myself as that  9 year little boy,  we try to be the “star” of Christmas by purchasing the right presents, going to the right events, or decorating things just right.   But Christmas isn’t about us or what we do……it’s about what God did!   It’s not a “holiday”…..it’s a “holy day”……a day when God sent His son into the world as our Savior.  We’re not the “star” of this show…..He is!


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