The Living Nativity

“Finally, it’s started,” Adriane said to those gathered in a lean-to on the far side of the church building.

“Good, ‘cause I’m freezing,” said Peter. He pulled his long robe tighter.

Over the wind, the sounds of laughter, mingled with the somewhat in-tune singing of Sunday School classes, wafted through the cracked-open back door of the fellowship hall.

Danielle shifted from one cold foot to the other. “It’ll be another forty-five minutes before they bring everyone outside to see our nativity. What do you want to do until then?”

“Hey, quit that,” Adriane said to the goat attached to the leash wrapped twice around her wrist. “Quit humping my leg.”

“He only wants to chew on your sleeve,” Heather said, as she patted a wooly ewe on her head.

“This miniature cow is cute,” Ginny said, but she’s restless. “Do you think we could take these guys for a walk? We have plenty of time.”

“If it’ll get this goat off me, I’ll go,” said Adriane.

Animals in tow, the group set off down the main road, past the church to the grocery store two blocks away. Mary, Joseph, an angel, two shepherds, three kings, a goat, a donkey, two sheep, and a mini cow circled the perimeter of the parking lot. Before heading back to the church, the teens and their menagerie wandered past the store’s large plate-glass window and waved at those inside.

Lesley looked at her watch. “We’d better get back. The Sunday School presentations are gonna end soon.”

The wandering creche returned just in time to take their places around the manger.

Suddenly, the rear fellowship hall door opened. The teens, in biblical garb, posed on cue as overly excited children dragged their weary parents into the night air.

Two members of the chancel choir broke into song and the crowd joined them. “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed.” “Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains.”

Parental paparazzi cameras flashed.

During the third hymn, a sixth grader sang “We three kings of orient are, smoking on a rubber cigar.” His father took swift action. “Field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star,” he continued properly.

The trip to the manger ended with the heavenly sounds of Silent Night. All four verses.

The Living Nativity of 1987 was a success.

The next morning, the office phone rang. “You’ve reached the church secretary. How may I help you?”

Without identifying herself, the caller replied, “I think my husband is drinking again. He’s been sober for two years, but last night when he came home from the grocery store, he told me he’d seen an angel leading a cow through the parking lot. Is the pastor available? I need to make an appointment for him.”

Copyright © 2022

3 thoughts on “The Living Nativity

  1. Glad you put this remembrance story on the blog. This reminds people that real life can be stranger than fiction! Merry Christmas.


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