Stepping into the Role of Baby Jesus

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Baby Paxton as “Jesus”

As a kid I went to church nearly every Sunday with my mother. It’s what we did, there was no question about it. Now, I’m not saying I loved every minute of it, but I didn’t mind. I barely remember Sunday School or Catechism Classes, though I do remember Confirmation Camp at Lake Chautauqua in New York. I also remember my Confirmation because I got to shop for a new white dress. (It was a mini skirt with flounces, bright pink tights and black canvas Chinese shoes!) But the truth is, I don’t remember a whole lot about my young days in the church. There were a handful of adults who cared that I was there, but sadly I never felt like the oldest members of the church cared, and the pastors were indifferent too (except for the intern who went with us to Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Camp) {Hi, Pastor Deb!}

So, why am I tell you all of this? 

Because as an adult (and as a pastor) it is incredibly important to me that young people in the church know that they are seen, valued, and loved. Kids are too often overlooked in churches or seen as “the future” which is just a nice way to say they aren’t the “now.” It’s true, they are the future, but it’s also true that they are the present! It is our job as adults in the church to bring them up in the faith! It’s our responsibility to see to their faith formation – we made them a promise at their Baptism that we would. How can we do that if we don’t have relationships with them? (Hint: It’s utterly impossible!)

So while I never got to be a part of a Christmas play until I was an adult (my first role was as the prophet Isaiah, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given….” it is an important part of the life of Trinity Lutheran Church. The picture above is of Paxton who had the starring role in our play on Sunday. He won’t remember it, but his parents will and they will tell him all about it one day! These stories are part of the narrative of our lives that we tell and retell to form the faith in one another. “You were Jesus!”
“You played Mary!” And the whole faith community recalls these stories and shares them over the years as children become teens and teens become adults – they continue to hear the story of their life of faith.

Until next time,
PA

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