Monday, December 12, 2016
Radio Flyer Donkey
Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 346:Today, I am grateful for a Radio Flyer disguised as a donkey.
Yesterday was the children's program at church. I am grateful to those who have taken over the past few years. It always delights my heart, because children... are children. Bekah and Sheila - what a great job of leading and putting the pieces together. I hope you both got a nap in yesterday.
The sheep who did not "baa" in practice "baa'd" their hearts out during the program. Some of the younger children had their parts perfectly memorized and really got into the acting out of the innkeeper scene. They all performed with hearts that were there to give a message of hope. Each one did a great job.
The littlest of the crew were in adorable angel costumes. They are usually terrified when brought to the front of the church with full pews. Yesterday, they did not freeze in terror. They must have heard a "Fear not" for they were determined to not sit up front... but seemed bent on a mission. I am sure they just wanted to share the good news of Jesus. Our veteran Pre-K teachers, Mark and Kim, reminded me of the game "Hungry Hungry Hippos". They would capture one rogue angel... put them in place... and another would dart out. My view from the piano was perfect. These moments - I hope do not horrify parents, as they are a very special part of what makes a children's Christmas program. Children being children.
When you have been in a congregation for nearly 28 years... kids grow up. To see some as young adults helping with the program (including my future daughter-in-law and her sister) is as good as it gets. Others... who are in their teens... playing with excellence on their instruments of choice in worship is simply a "wow"! A wink and a blink and they are grown.
The props this year included a rising star, a campfire that twinkled and a Radio Flyer wagon disguised as a donkey to carry sweet Mary, led by Joseph's gentle hand. I hope someone posts a picture of the donkey. It really was amazing. (Jeff and Donna Roth... you really rocked the set)
I am reminded of something I learned in recent years. A king who comes on a horse arrives as a warrior. A king who arrives on a donkey, symbolizes that he comes in peace. The humble donkey is full of meaning. Jesus arrived in Bethlehem on a donkey, in his mother's womb. He asked for a donkey for the entry into Jerusalem not long before his crucifixion. A king who came in peace to a world that knew very little. No wonder so many missed him. I fear, I would have missed him, too.
The world is still full of turbulence, terror and fear. The message is still, "Fear not". In a world that struggles to act peaceably, there is peace where the Spirit lives. There is hope. There is love. There is a Radio Flyer disguised as a donkey to remind us that things are not always what they seem to be. Sometimes, they are so much more.
Today, I am grateful for a Radio Flyer disguised as a donkey.