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Tripping over the retelling of the Christmas story
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Things can and often do go wrong at church Christmas programs. The children or adults playing shepherds and wise men may trip over their bathrobe costumes, drop the gold on baby Jesus’ head, fall off the stage, or forget their lines.

Churches large and small can have surprising things happen. One church I heard about had an angel attached to a wire to fly over the congregation. It was pretty impressive, until the angel suffered motion sickness, shouted, “Help! Get me down!” and then vomited on the congregation.

Another church used a live donkey for the arrival of Mary and Joseph at Bethlehem, but the donkey was totally uncooperative, fighting against Joseph the whole way. When he finally managed to drag the donkey to the innkeeper, Joseph said, “It has been a looooong journey!”

Despite the mistakes that may happen, churches continue to produce Christmas plays year after year, because the important thing is the story, not the storytellers. As the song says, “Tell me the story of old, old story, of Jesus and His love.” Because the story is so wonderful and amazing, congregations still crowd into churches to hear it told again, even when the actors aren’t professional. They know that the truth doesn’t come from the performance of the actors, the truth comes from the God who invaded human history as a little baby, and came to earth to save us.

So we may trip over our bathrobes trying to tell the story, but it’s OK, because we have a Savior who picks us up when we fall. Merry Christmas!

(Copyright 2012 by Bob Rogers. Email: Read this column each Friday in the Herald. Visit my blog at