The Christmas pageant this
year was supposed to be a collage of Christmas. The pageant was to be a
smattering of everything Christmas over the last 2000 years. There was
going to be the baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary, Shepherd's, Santa Claus (some
folks objected), modern day toys beneath a giant tree, and even Scrooge
was supposed to be a part of this year's annual Christmas event.
Mostly little children were to
be involved but an exception was made for Scrooge. There was man who lived
next door to the church whose name was Smith. Mr. Smith was a real life
Scrooge. Didn't' like people. Didn't like children. Didn't like anything
or anyone. Mr. Smith was old and mean. People didn't like Mr. Smith
because Mr. Smith didn't like them. Mr. Smith never smiled. He always
In August, when the Christmas
program was planned, jokingly the planning committee thought Mr. Smith
would be a great representation of Scrooge. After all, Mr. Smith never
came to church. Mr. Smith and Scrooge had identical personas. Only as a
joke, the planning committee coerced the pastor into asking Mr. Smith to
be Scrooge. Of course, the pastor resisted but the pastor didn't get the
joke. By mistake, because the pastor didn't get the joke, the pastor went
next door the next day expecting to get a "Ba Humbug" for sure.
For a reason known only to God, Mr. Smith came to the door, listened to
the pastor's proposal, and accepted. The pastor was stunned beyond belief
at "Humbug's" acceptance to be a part of this year's Christmas
During the planning and
rehearsal stages in October things began to get a little strange. A
newborn baby who was supposed to play Jesus was not available because the
family moved away. A substitute Jesus was found in a little boy who was
just a bit older than a toddler. The boy was starting to say a few words.
The committee said, "He will be cute." Because the new Jesus was
bigger than a new-born a new manger was assembled. The little ones, who
were to play the sheep at the manger scene, seemed overly active, as in
hyperactive, but the committee said, "They will be cute." Mary
and Joseph, both about 5, tended to wander away from the manger scene
during rehearsals but the committee said, "They will be cute."
The little boy and girl who were chosen to be Christmas trees, liked to do
spin moves and throw off their ornaments. The committee said, "They
will be cute." And Scrooge…he relished his role. During rehearsals,
with a booming voice Scrooge would belt out "Ba Humbug" at any
On the evening of the pageant,
everyone assembled off stage in a moment of rare solemnity. All the
children were exceptionally quiet. There was a kind of unnerving quiet in
the air. This unnerving quiet was like the quiet before a storm. As the
pageant began, all the participants and Scrooge entered onto the stage,
and then things started devolving. The sheep, the little hyperactive ones,
started jumping and running around all over the place. The trees started
spinning. Jesus would pop his head up over the edge of the manager and
wave at Scrooge. Jesus would then shout out "Scoooooge…." Then
break out into an infectious cackle of laughter. The moment had an affect
upon Scrooge. When Scrooge went to belt out the familiar "Ba
Humbug" what came out was a belly laugh. Scrooge was so changed by
the chaos of the moment, Scrooge got laughingly hysterical.
Then there was the cherub
incident. Every year, as a tradition, regardless of the Christmas play, a
little child dressed up as a cherub was lowered down from the ceiling.
Well, this year something went wrong. The rigging in the bell tower
suspending the little cherub got twisted up and the cherub starting
violently spinning on the end of the suspension wire. The poor cherub
didn't know what to do, so there was this desperate cry of "Help!
Help!" as the spinning cherub was slowly lowered toward the manger.
The program director who was
seated in the first pew next to the center aisle was sort of paralyzed in
shock. With a helpless daze on her face, she wondered, "Why aren't
Now the audience seated in the
sanctuary was in a good mood to start with but when the chaos broke out,
the audience fell into hilarity.
Every child had a little piece
to say but none of the children could remember a thing. Instead, the
children would wave at someone in the audience and then start rolling on
the floor, or running up and down the center aisle, or something equally
chaotic. All this with a background of Scrooge's having gone berserk with
After fifteen minutes of goofy
chaos, the program director stood up and faced the audience. The director
said, "Well, we had a nice program planned. The children are really
cute." At that point, Scrooge got out his first "Ba Humbug"
which brought uncontrolled laughter from everyone.
When the director couldn't
take it any more, everyone sang a few hymns, and proceeded to the
fellowship hall for refreshments and gift exchange. Oh, Mr. Smith who
played Scrooge became a different man. Mr. Smith was a very different guy
after meeting Jesus in the pageant. He started coming to church every
Sunday. He laughed, he smiled. He gave His heart to Christ on Easter.
You just never know how God is
going to do what God wants to do.
This message is
fiction and presented to bring you joy and good humor. The
message appeared in December, 2010, in the Virtual Church
web site at http://www.findthepower.com