Sunday, December 20, 2009

There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Christ?

In case you don't know, my title quotes "Love Actually"... it's a character's reaction to being told that her daughter earned the role of "first lobster" in the Nativity play. It all makes perfect sense to me, but that may be because I'm being newly introduced this year to a child's view of Christmas.

The Man and I are on the rotation to teach 3 year old Sunday school. This is a fun job, not much of a chore, because while they are not particularly focused, they are extremely imaginative. A couple of weeks ago we set up the big cloth nativity scene in the Sunday school class, and then let the children play with it while we pulled them aside, one at a time, to work on an art project. This happened:

Now, I don't remember the part of the Christmas story that involves a giant fish, but maybe it's just me.

At home, we have a small nativity scene, that is very old. I'm not quite sure how old it is, but it's been around as long as I can remember, and it used to have more parts. I think it had a donkey and a bunch of shepherds... now it has Mary, a manger, baby Jesus (and in my head it's the actual baby Jesus, because it's in all my childhood memories), two male figures, of which one must be a shepherd and one must be Joseph, but no one is ever in agreement as to which is which, a cow, 2 sheep, and 3 wise men, one of whom apparently has that skin condition where you lose pigment in patches. It may be the most beloved nativity scene in the history of the world, and Small One is continuing the tradition of lovingly playing with it all Christmas season. A few days ago I called Small to dinner only to be shushed... the male she deems "Joseph" was singing a lullaby and rocking baby Jesus to sleep.

Today, I came in to the living room to find that Middle Child's Madame Alexander angel ornament had joined the adoring throng around the manger. Small One looked at me with her hands on her hips, and something akin to outrage on her little face. "Baby Jesus's angel," she explained indignantly, "does NOT needa be up in a tree!"

Fair enough. But later, when I discovered that the Big Bird ornament had lost his hook, she informed me that he, too needed to be near baby Jesus. I don't think that's scriptural, actually, but then again, Jesus was nothing if not inclusive, right? And who am I to decide who needa be near the baby Jesus. I'll leave that to the experts.

(Luke 18:17: Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.)

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