I've seen Christmas productions before, but I cannot remember the last time that one spoke to me as much as this one did. Instead of just showing the cute pictures I took of Lauren performing, I'll share a bit of the story too.
Their production was called "The Secret of Snowflake County" and told the story of a small town who prided itself on having the biggest, most elaborate Christmas displays. On one particular night the mayor of the town was judging a contest to determine which idea was going to be chosen as the featured performance for their Christmas Extravaganza.
Tim got roped in to play one of the adult roles -- Joey, the eager assistant to the mayor. Here he is helping to explain the background and purpose of the competition.
"Gone are the days of basic nativity sets and simple Christmas pageants. If it's been done before, we won't do it. If we want to be relevant, we need to speak the language of today's culture. That means production. That means professionalism. That means performance."As the contestants show their ideas, Lauren shares part of the Christmas story and then performs as tap dancing wiseman.
Later, she rapped as part of a medley combining as many different styles of music as possible.
In the midst of all the business of the competition schedule, Mayor Hallmark's daughter Suzy is trying to get her attention.
Towards end, the audience sees the surprise that Suzy and her friend Max have been planning -- a simple depiction of the birth of Jesus with Mary singing Silent Night while holding her teddy bear and Max reading from Luke 2. Afterwards, an adorable little four year old stepped up to the microphone to sing about the "Baby . . . lying in a manger." I'm sure I wasn't the only one with a few tears forming as she sang.
Tim wrapped up the musical with these words:
"This year, we've really been focused on making our extravaganza a super dazzling production. But as we have been trying to make Christmas more exciting, I think we've hidden the true message of Christmas. Suzy and Max have just reminded us that the gospel doesn't need decoration and the incarnation doesn't need packaging in order to be life-changing. We've been paying so much attention to the packaging that we've forgotten, we know a secret -- Jesus, the one true Light, was born in a manger."
Christmas is always a busy time for our family -- concerts for our singers, presents to be bought and wrapped and mailed, holiday treats to bake, etc. I need to be careful this year that I'm not trying so hard to make Christmas exciting that I forget that I know a secret.
Lord, help me to remember that Christmas is about a baby in a manger who was sent to be our Emmanuel -- to be God with Us.
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