As a minister, of a few years experience, I can tell you quite a few stories of church nativity plays. I have seen quite a lot over the years! I have seen Herod have full blown tantrums. Mary sobbing at the site of an audience. Baby Jesus dropped in a manger (I must point out – doll, not real baby!). Toy sheep thrown across the platform. Some of the things the kids have done have been quite funny too!
We had our nativity play at Pier Avenue this morning. It was great. Our puppet ministry team (Reach Up Puppetry) were fantastic, the sheep had real attitude and the songs got the foot tapping. The Rap with the congregation punching the air and shouting out was great fun. The younger children with their nativity scene was lovely. I know the hard work that those organizing it put in, and I know it was appreciated by the congregation.
There was one thing that really spoke to me this year. It came during the final song (Joy to the World). One little girl, dressed as an angel, danced away at the front of the church, full of excitement. Eventually, a little boy (also dressed as an angel) came and joined her. So, I can truly say, we had angels dancing in Church today.
It spoke to me because, it brought to mind something I have been thinking about recently. I re-read some familiar words this week, from the Prophet Isaiah;
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
(Isaiah 9 vs. 6- 7 emphasis mine)
The more I have reflected on it, the more that word ZEAL speaks to me. The dictionary defines zeal as;
great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.
As I led devotions the other day, I spoke about this as being “the umph of God”. God’s most eager desire is that we should know Him and His love for us. So, for us to know this, He put a great deal of energy and enthusiasm into it.
So, I really believe that when the Nativity happened in Bethlehem, all those years ago, the angels really did dance!
Thank you to the little angels who danced this morning and reminded me.
Over this coming Christmas time, may the Zeal of the Lord Almighty reach into your life and bring you to know and experience more of His love for you