Sunday 24 December
Year B: Fourth Sunday of Advent
Liturgical Colour: Purple (or Blue)
- Psalm 89: 1-4, 19-26
- 2 Samuel 7: 1-11, 16
- Romans 16: 25-27
- Luke 1: 26-38
My second-favourite nativity story
It’s the last week of school and tomorrow we will all be breaking up for the Christmas holidays. Everywhere is glittery and a giant tree has been planted in the big hall. It’s not on the high stage where the headteacher stands but down on the wooden floor where we all sit. It’s in front of the steps to the high stage and has lots of lights and an angel made by Year Five is sitting right at the top looking a bit sad.
And that’s funny because there has been lots of laughing in the big hall all week and we have been singing happy songs and I’ve nearly forgotten all about that day just before the summer holidays when we all had to sit on our own behind a desk and not talk and do a test. Perhaps I remember it now because my tummy feels a bit like it did in the test even though there are no desks and the lights on the tree are shining brightly.
We had our last rehearsal for the nativity play this afternoon. People have been talking about it for ages and there have been lots of messages home about dressing up and learning lines and now we are back at school with grownups even though it is dark and it doesn’t feel much like play.
I am wearing a big blue crown and a long robe and I have to climb the steps behind the tree and go up to the high stage and say my line and I am trying not to worry about it but I am a lot.
I just have to remember ‘I BRING’ uncle ‘FRANK IN’ and it makes no ‘SENSE’ and make sure that I don’t say the middle bits. I don’t know why the doll in the cardboard box with straw in it wants whatever it is but I just want to get my line right.
The music has started and everything feels like a very scary test now and it is nearly my turn.
I climb the first steps okay but then my foot gets caught in the long robe and I grab onto the tree.
Luckily I don’t fall over and the giant tree doesn’t fall on top of the grownups either but they are all looking at me.
I climb onto the high stage where the headteacher usually stands but now instead there are even more lights and they are too bright and I can’t see anything properly and then my crown slips over my eyes too.
Suddenly I feel very small and frightened and I have forgotten what I should be saying about my uncle Frank.
Then the worst thing ever happens and I start to cry and my tears are making my crown soggy and everyone can see and I am spoiling the play that is definitely not play and people will be cross.
I close my eyes.
Everything has gone very quiet.
People are not moving and I think they might have stopped breathing and now I have stopped breathing too.
Then suddenly something strong is happening.
I open my eyes and see the headteacher walking onto the stage and I think I am going to be shouted at but instead the headteacher is smiling kindly and is kneeling down beside me and giving me a proper hanky and I blow my nose and now I have stopped crying and have started to smile too.
Everything is going to be alright and in fact more alright than it had been before everything had gone wrong.
Now the headteacher is standing up and speaking.
‘At Christmas God stepped into the middle of a world stage full of children who wanted to get things right, but they kept getting things wrong, because they were doing them out of fear. That is still often true today, even though it no longer has to be. But it is Christmas and we can remember to do things like God does, out of love.’
Then everyone smiled and sang the last song very loudly and when at the end I climbed down the steps to the wooden floor where we all sit I think I saw the angel made by Year Five smiling too.’