It's all about passing the torch ... or, in this case, a tinseled star.
I sat near the front of the Stafford United Methodist Church sanctuary on Sunday, looking forward to the children's Christmas program. This year, I wasn't nervously wondering whether kids would remember their lines. I wasn't concerned about little girls and the etiquette required when wearing dresses. I didn't have giant lyric poster boards prepared to help cue the singers or actors.
For a dozen years or so, it was my job to worry about such things. How do you choose who gets this part or another and keep everyone happy? What would happen if one of the actors came down with the flu? How would I shuffle the lines?
I was just there to enjoy and to click the camera shutter for the church's newsletter and Facebook page updates.
And then I saw the star. It's probably been a quarter of a century since I carefully taped and stapled a thick rope of tinsel to yellow poster board. Back then, I added a dowel to the back so little angels could make it appear over the Holy Family in the church's Christmas pageants.
It guided Three Wise Men (People) to worship the newborn King with foil-wrapped packages.
In 2016, the same star still shone as little voices sang the timeless "Away in a Manger" and recited Christmas poems. And I thought about passing the torch ... and passing the star.
Kristen Knight has been director of our children's Christmas program for the past few years. But when I see her, I sometimes don't see the grown up wife and Mommy of three. I see the little girl who wore a shepherd's costume one year, was an angel the next or played some other part in one of our full-blown Christmas musicals as she and her contemporaries got older: The Missing Magi, A Star Is Born and Gettin' Ready for a Miracle, to name a few.
More often than not, that tinseled star made an appearance during the Christmas program. It was used downtown when it was our church's turn to provide the Living Nativity during Christmas Wonderland.
|Brent & Jill at Christmas Wonderland, downtown Stafford|
On Sunday, one of Kristen's sons held the same shepherd's crook that belongs to his grandpa, while a friend held another.
|Jill - circa 1995 or so|
|Brent - Christmas 1991 - age 3|
it was a privilege to watch Jill, Eric and the girls light the Advent candles at their church.
"And a little child shall lead them." Isaiah 11: 6
Thanks be to God!