His words carry through the congregation, "I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Her words ring in the silence of the sanctuary, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name..."
They preach the sermon, sharing the sacred stories with all gathered.
Her voice carries for all to hear, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people..." before she is joined by the winged multitudes, saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
He smiles and says nothing as his cohorts announce, "Let us now go to Bethlehem, and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us!"
All sit in rapt attention as the sermon continues, "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. This is the Gospel of our Lord.." (Luke 2)
To some, it might look like a Christmas Pageant, but to me, it's the best sermon of the year so far: a motley crew of God's children - ages 2 to 74 - sharing their faith through telling not only the story of the birth of our Savior, but preaching about what Christmas really is about. With halos and wings and hay bales and sheep; with God's word and a glimpse at the past; they tell us that Christmas may be about candles that remind us of the coming of the Light of the World; songs to glorify His name; Christmas trees that serve to point the way to Heaven; and Gifts because of the God's greatest Gift to us. But in the end, they remind us, "We couldn't have Christmas without Jesus!"
On this twelfth day of Christmas, before we "put Christmas away" for another year, we take one more moment to hold Christmas in our hearts, to fill our souls with the Story, and to nourish our spirits in the Birth.