It’s not too late to invite people to church for Christmas (especially this year when many “occasional worshipers” might not realize there’s online church or how to do it!)
8 pm Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve will be an online adaptation of our traditional Lessons and Carols. All you need is 1) to turn down your lights when you get online; and 2) a candle for everyone worshiping for “Silent Night” at the end of the service. (You could just use your Advent candles!)
5 pm Family Service this year is a fun, joyous “Instant Pageant” with room for everyone to take a role of their choice and participate in our worship. The beginning of the service – below – gives you and idea of how you can prepare:
Welcome to Old First
(Christmas Eve Family Service — Instant Pageant, 5 pm, Dec. 24, 2020)
If we have included goats and cows, muck and real babies at Christmas in the past, I believe we can even accomplish a live Pageant on zoom! It’s going to involve some muting and unmuting, and a lot of imagination, but the church can do more than it ever thought…
Let us pray! Dear God, help us to tell your story. We need to remember it. And believe it. And live it. Let’s open our hearts and minds and find our joy in this holy story. Amen.
Ok, I need you all to make a decision. That’s sort of an old time preacher thing to say, but you have a decision even before deciding for Christ tonight. Who are you going to be in our pageant?
Who do we need? All of you. Everyone. But there are some central roles:
Kings or Queens or anyone Wise.
We are not worried about numbers! We need one Mary, but we can also have 5. Same is true with all the other characters.
Some farm animals might help too — so if someone wants to be a goat, or a sheep. A donkey would help. And yes, I know, we’re Old First, there’s gonna be a cow, too. But there could have been a Manger Mouse. Or a Christmas Chicken!
I have thought that the kids might even have stuffed animals they could gather and share to help make our stable. And thanks to Bob and Bobbie, I think we have a herd of cows…
Perhaps the secret to really making “Christmas Come Alive” is to get creative. Oh, and to get everyone involved.
Now if you are in a house with multiple people, you might make signs, so we know your different parts. I’m going to ask you all to change your names on zoom (you can also list different characters!) Like Jesus changing Simon’s name to Peter, you are no longer Bob or Margaret, Nancy or Jonathan. Instead, you are all characters in the holy story.
Some of you might also want to costume. Some may have thought of this before, and have elaborate, Hollywood-worthy costumes. But anything will do!
A pot from the kitchen on your head could make you a king. A towel as a turban would work as well. Or a treasure chest with the gifts you are going to bring Jesus.
A blanket as a head-covering for Mary. A broom stick as a shepherd’s staff. A too big shirt belted as a robe. An open-centered frisbee as a halo. Water wings for real wings.
Let us pray: Dear God, we’re no longer just with our families. We’re the church, gathered to welcome Jesus. We’re no longer in our kitchens or living rooms. We’re in Bethlehem. We’re your characters in this holy story that we might learn more about faithfulness, more about Jesus, and more about how to walk in his way. Amen.