|My daughter representing the Virgin Mary for a Bible School presentation.|
Before I get letters and hate mail or you know, that occasional stoning, hear me out.
When I was in elementary school, maybe around 7th grade, I was asked to represent the Virgin Mary for our church. I had the dark hair and was tall. I was also very devout. To say the least, I was honored.
You see, I was not going to be in a play. Oh no! What I was asked to do was even more than that..
In our church as is tradition in some other churches is that the baby Jesus figure never shows up in the manger scene until the night of Christmas Eve. What I was asked to do is to represent the Virgin Mary presenting the baby Jesus to the whole congregation and lay him in the manger. A great honor!
My excitement was overwhelming and yet, nervousness at the same time. What if I dropped him or something worse like an arm broke off or something. This was MAJOR stress for someone my age.
Needless to say, Christmas Eve came around that year, as it always does, and my Mom helped me dress. I wore a beautiful long light blue dress, simple and not overly decorated, and I also wore a darker shade of a blue long veil on my head.
I was given the baby Jesus in the back of church. He was a small figure that just fit in both of my hands. Just as a baby so small would do. I cradled him as I looked at the figure, a representation to hold. I was told that I would walk in front of the priest and everyone in the procession.
As the music began, I walked slowly and held him high, everyone could see me but their eyes were not on me, but the Christ child...their eyes were where they belonged for such an evening as this.
I walked to the front of the church but I did not lay him in the manger, not yet.
In fact, I took my seat in the pew still holding the figure of the Christ child. I waited for what seemed like an eternity. Then...
At a point in the service, it was time.
I once again, raised the baby high but this time, I was alone in the procession, just me and the baby. I walked slowly to the manger that was in front of the church. I then turned to the congregation and showed them the baby Jesus. Christmas morning had arrived!
I then laid him in the manger and returned to my seat.
The Virgin Mary had done her job...I had done mine...baby Jesus had been brought to the world to be seen.