I stayed up late last night writing a scholarship recommendation for one of our high school seniors. I love it when they ask me to do that. But it’s put me a little behind on the blog today. Plus I spent a lot of yesterday planning our pastor’s wedding. Lord knows what they would end up with without me.
First, you’ll want to know that our pastor is engaged to a really wonderful guy and they will be married after the first of the year. Then you’ll need to know that I have a group of very imaginative friends for whom social networking was invented. We were born for this app. Sometimes we get a conversation going and the others will jump in and add their own warped ideas. We’ve ended up with some great stories that way.
So yesterday when Nancy posted a note on Traci’s facebook page about a 15-foot piece of blue material that Traci’s mother had bought for our worship last Sunday we were off and running.
The blue cloth was used as a “river” last Sunday for a human video the kids put on. By Monday morning Traci and I decided it could double as the sky, too. That led to the idea of releasing doves from behind it and what better occasion than Anne and David’s wedding? We never quite figured out how we were going to get the doves (and everything that goes with them) out of our sanctuary afterwards because we were on to the next idea before we could get the first one fully-baked. Lately, I have started calling myself the Queen of Half-Baked Ideas. And all I usually need is a friend to help me finish baking them.
Before we could solve that problem of loose doves in the sanctuary, a third friend, Nancy, joined the conversation and suggested including Anne’s dog and cats in the service. Then Kat suggested we dress them in tuxedos and veils. We ended up with a scenario resembling Dr Doolittle meets the Nativity. The way it stands now, Anne will be riding into the sanctuary on a donkey, meet David at the Chancel after he rides in on a white horse. We still haven’t decided if he should wear shining armor or not.That’s always so heavy, dontcha know. Then they will exit the service together on camels.
Music was the next consideration. I’ve always been partial to Aretha Franklin's music for weddings. For the processional we would hear “RESPECT” and for the recessional, “Chain of Fools.” Traci voted for Madonna music. She suggested either “Like a Virgin” or “Papa Don’t Preach” with “Material Girl” as a recessional.
We’ve still got to work on the food and decorations.
In the meantime, I need to decorate my own house for Christmas. My favorite Christmas decoration is always the Nativity Scene. It’s a little old and worn by now. It’s survived two little girls with another two currently poking around on it. After all, it’s just the world best dolls. You gotta let the sheep run free once in a while and re-position the shepherds for a good view. There’s always one wise man who doesn’t like where he’s standing and wants to move. Consequently, a lot of the delicate parts in our Nativity are broken. A couple of camel legs and most of the lambs’ limbs are gone.
The angel’s wings, of course, have suffered also. But I’m not sure I trust a Nativity set with a complete set of angel wings. That usually means that children haven’t been allowed to touch it. And we all need to touch the Nativity and make it our own. We need to move the sheep and shepherds around a little bit. We all need to hold the baby Jesus.
The snowman in our Nativity is also showing his age. Emily made him in kindergarten probably thirty years ago. He’s made of the whipped soap-flakes clay. He was white years ago but has turned sort of brown with age. One side of him has a black splotch where an Advent candle scorched him. His nose has ended up nearer his chin than the center of his face. And his head falls off if we move him at all.
Emily is always embarrassed when I bring him out to put in the manger scene. She can’t understand why I insist on including him every year. Her main argument is not his appearance; she claims that snowmen do not belong in Nativity scenes.
That’s where she’s wrong. The snowman is us: He’s you and me. I’ve always thought we should include something from our modern day in with the usual ancient characters. We belong there, too. We stand by the shepherds and watch for the Messiah. We’re just as awed and puzzled as the others. Sometimes we’re brown from age and have trouble keeping our heads on tight. But, make no mistake, we’re there alongside Mary and Joseph.
Release the doves.