Last week the boss asked us about the plethora of “Christmas” parties during Advent. The staff usually has a food and gift exchange gathering during Advent. This year, though, with all sorts of church busy stuff and our student peer ministers and interns in the thick of finals, the best calendar time was actually during the Christmas season. The weekend of Baptism of the Lord. A good time, perhaps, for some of us to unload unloved presents in the gift exchange.
Since my arrival in my new parish, I’ve been asked to collaborate on the Advent Pageant. Usually these are a vehicle for a photo opportunity of the Holy Family, the Magi, shepherds, angels, and various sheep.
Last year I parlayed the “Ne Timeas” theme not into a song, but into a whole pageant. Advent centered, yes, with annunciations to both Joseph and Mary, as well as the prophet’s admonition not to fear in the vision of returning exiles.
This year I found “Waiting For Messiah” to be an idea suitable for Advent. We have five scenes based on the following Scriptures:
- Hebrews 1:1-3, followed by a brief narration and our theme song,* “Waiting for Messiah.”
- Selected parts of Genesis 8:15-9:17, Noah, family, and animals disembarking and the rainbow covenant, followed by an instrumental interlude
- Isaiah 7:10-14, followed by “O Come O Come Emmanuel”
- Isaiah 11:1-10, followed by “Like A Shepherd”
- Baruch 4:36-5:9, wrapped up with “O Little Town Of Bethlehem,” though I think the director is angling for “Away In A Manger.” Either one is really fine. The nativity scene does appear at the end of Baruch. I suspect some parents would look with suspicion on a “holiday” event with kids that didn’t have the Holy Family plus “wise men and farmers and shepherds and all.”
On the other hand, the animals appear in three scenes: unloading from the ark, in the peaceable kingdom, and at the end with baby Jesus. That could be interesting.
* I actually haven’t written this tune yet. Anybody got any text ideas?