Dear Friends,
Each Wednesday and Thursday at 11 am I meet with our pre-school children in the sanctuary.   We sing a few songs, I tell them a Bible story, and we close with a prayer.  But what they look forward to most is their moment to say something.  We have a “talking stick” that I hold while I am talking and that they hold when it’s their turn to talk.  We take about 15 minutes.  Come and watch some time.  And please know that you are all invited to the annual Kid’s Stuff Christmas program this Thursday evening, December 12.  The stated time is 7 pm, but everyone knows that if you want to sit and not stand, you need to be there about a half hour early.
Last week my Bible story was the Christmas story.  It occurred to me that there are a lot of adult themes in this simple story that we all know and love.  For example, do these 3 and 4 year olds really need to know that Mary and Joseph were not married?  Or that Joseph was not the real father?  Or that the Holy Spirit was?  I didn’t learn where babies come from until we’d already had three.  So probably this was more information than these little boys and girls really needed.
I did explain that when a baby is on the way, the mommy’s tummy gets real big.  I said it might look like she is wearing a pillow, but she really isn’t.  And that Mary probably looked like that before Jesus was born.  And that she probably was not very comfortable.
At the end, a little boy raised his hand.  I gave him the talking stick.  He said, “When my mommy had a baby it pushed against her bladder.”
I guess that happens.  This spiritual event that means so much to all of us was also very much a down to earth human event.  Many of you women have been there.  Most of us men are woefully ignorant of that amazing process that ushered each of us into this world.
This special time of the year, we are grateful that Jesus was born.  And we are also grateful that we were born.  A virgin birth does not make sense to us.  But does the actual biological process make any more sense?
A pastor friend of mine named William Bray said something I still remember, though his life on this earth ended 31 years ago.  “Life’s big question is:  How do we relate to the mysterious power that brought us here?”
We are told that Mary “kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
This is the season to ponder.
In Christ,
John