Don’t you just love kids at Christmas time? Their honest innocence is refreshing and wonderful.
This was the case during Sunday night’s children’s Christmas program at Rubyville Community Church, where I attend with my family in southern Ohio. It was so cute, yet it hit the nail on the head. The children’s performances were not perfect by any means – but their spirit and enthusiasm was simple perfection.
They captured the atmosphere of Christmas and put everyone in attendance in a jolly mood. They did not worry whether they sang on key or not, they just belted it out. They sang with all their heart for everyone to hear.
It was refreshing to get away from some of the distractions during the holiday season and let the children take over and demonstrate the true meaning of the season.
For a few moments, there was no talk of politics or shootings or anything else that might take away from the Christmas season. Instead, there was pure joy and a true celebration of the “Wonderful Savior of Men.”
It took me back to when my boys were in the children’s Christmas programs. I recall lugging that gigantic video recorder that weighed about 17 pounds on my shoulder all over the sanctuary. I remember Eli speaking his piece with a Sesame Street bandage on his eyebrow, which of course clashed with his green Christmas suit. I also remember Gabe perfectly saying his piece during the Christmas program with his eyes closed because he felt that if his eyes were shut, no one could see him. That made it easier.
Those are wonderful memories.
Several parents experienced similar memories Sunday night. Within minutes of dismissing the service, these memories were flooded onto Facebook and Instagram for everyone to see. When my kids were little, we did not have those options.
Five-year-old Trenton stole the show at the end with his wonderful rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
I talked to him before the service, and he was so excited. “I love it, I love it, I love it,” was all he could say. “I love to sing, I love to sing, I love to sing.” And sing he did. He was so excited that he got the words a little mixed up, so he just made up his own words at times. It was a hoot.
Then there was cute little Addalynn, who got the never-ending giggles with a microphone in her face. She finally said her piece – ironically about having joy. It was fitting. My experience has been that once someone begins laughing onstage, it’s contagious. Everyone laughs. So, needless to say, the entire congregation of 600 people laughed along with her.
Eight-year old Laynee stayed focused and was serious and told me she came to sing about Jesus, while Nicholas, age 8, told me he was there to just have fun.
Makenzie, who is 7, who donned a perfect black and white dress with a red bow, told me she was excited to sing about the Baby Jesus. Thad, also age 7, nailed his piece when saying it to me before the service. He was ready!
The program went off as planned – sort of. That is, if it was planned for little Caleb to zoom all over the stage. “They are kids,” said program director Judy. “But they did great.” Judy told me the kids have been practicing for this since the summer, and she was proud of all the children.
The entire purpose of the children’s musical is to celebrate the birth of Christ, and what better way than for children to emphasize and mark the occasion? It just seems fitting.
This weekend is about the birth of Christ. The children in Sunday’s program understand the true meaning of Christmas, and they all told me without batting an eye that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. Now I know that not every child attends a fundamental church. So, that’s why we have a Christmas program, and that’s why we go Christmas caroling, and that’s why there is a Christmas Cave in Minford, Ohio (a few blogs back.) We do all of this in our little part of the world to get the word out to everyone who will listen.
Most children are receptive to the message. They can relate because they love birthdays. Children get it. They are so honest about the fact that Christ was born of a virgin in a manger and just accept that it really happened. It’s the adults who sometimes do not recognize why we celebrate Dec. 25.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11-12 KJV
So, try to have that childlike innocent faith on Christmas. Simply believe that it happened. Recognize why we celebrate the day, and don’t get caught up so much in the pageantry of the holiday. It’s a busy time of the year, so look back and realize that Christ came to this earth as a baby to set us free.
On this Christmas, if you haven’t done so already, accept His gift to you – the free gift of salvation. And believe as only as a child can believe.